The responsibility that I have each week to stand before God's people and preach is deeply humbling. The Bible says in James 3:1, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." It isn't just the message of a man that is judged carefully, but rather, in the context of James, it is also his moral character which comes under great scrutiny. Believe me when I tell you that I do not take my calling as a messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ lightly. I understand that what I do is not a result of who I am, rather it is all because of Who I belong to and the amazing grace that flows from him.
Still, I can tell you that each week I have the joyful opportunity to labor in the Word of God to prepare what I genuinely hope to be is a God-honoring, Christ-focused, and church-building message. At the same time, I've been around the church long enough to know that there are many out there who think that the preacher just rolls out of bed on Sunday and climbs into the pulpit. There are some who think we work just one day a week! "How hard could it be?" they say. Others are homiletics experts in their own minds, and they aren't afraid to say so. I remember boldly (foolishly?) asking for feedback on a survey after one of my first sermons at a former church. Sure, there were some encouraging comments. But there were also some brutally honest remarks as well. (FYI, if you don't want somebody's opinion, don't ask them for it.) The longer that I am in the ministry of the church of Jesus Christ the more I realize that it takes deep humility and deep faith in God to do the work of a pastor. At times you sort of feel that, as a pastor, you are viewed by some as a "Customer Service Representative" for the Almighty God Himself! I'm sure that Moses felt that way from time to time.
Last week, I saw this blog post on "What is 'Deeper' Preaching?" by Pastor Pete Wilson. Pete is a dynamic pastor of a growing network of churches in the Nashville, TN, area. The post certainly resonated with my heart and I wanted to share it with you as well. Below is the same video that Pete posted of a conversation between John Piper and Rick Warren, two modern-day super-preachers of the church. Take a look at this video clip. Dare I say it...Let me know your thoughts.