Friday, October 12, 2007

Maintaining Perspective

I had the privilege of preaching at a church that is in transition. At the moment, they are looking for a new pastor. I was pleased with the opportunity as I feel called to be a pastor and preaching/ teaching is going to be a major role for me in ministry. However, I have found I am dealing with an inner tension. Let me explain...

I have a gift of singing and leading worship. As humbly as I can say this I am continually affirmed in this gift. It took some time but I am at a place where I am in complete freedom when I lead worship through song. I am not worried about what people may say or think. It does not matter to me that there are 1200 people I am singing in front of on Sunday morning, in my heart I am only singing to One...God himself. I do so with passion, confidence and freedom. This is only because I know I am lost in my worship of the one true God. It is Him I am singing to and no one else.

The tension I am feeling lies in my preaching. I want to begin by saying that I do enjoy preaching. I love exegeting the Word of God and explaining it to people. I enjoy challenging them to take seriously their claim to Christ and live what they profess...You get the idea.

However, I am noticing something about preaching that is different than singing. When I preach I know that I am not preaching to God like when I sing. Preaching is to people. It is to challenge people. It is in front of people. People judge whether or not I did a good or bad job.

As a result I find myself less free when I preach. I am wondering how my delivery is coming off and being received. Am I capturing the attention of the congregation? Are they engaging in the message? Are they being challenged, encouraged and/or edified? In short are they getting anything out of what I am saying or am I just waisting their time?

These are honest questions and feelings that I hope come with the newness of preaching. I hope they will go away as my confidence builds in my preaching gift in the same way it has with my singing gift.

I do not know what I am even asking for really. Just looking for some encouragement to help me in Maintaining Perspective.