Word of the Week

In the Seventh Month

I've been at this preaching every week now for nearly seven months every single week. Wow, is really my only response.

I believe to some this will sound like no big deal. "It's your job, right?"  And, while I do love preaching and would never complain for an opportunity to do it, I have to say that making the transition from once a month to every Sunday has been indeed a transition.

As the old saying goes, "Practice makes perfect" so I know that the volume of attempts to preach can't do anything but make me better at the craft. In the process, I have found myself more into the rhythm of what it takes to write a sermon every week. It is a discipline. It is a spiritual discipline that I must shape the activities of my life around. For, I just can't sit down on Friday and expect a sermon to come out of thin air unless I've done all the work I've needed to prior to the writing phase. And, as  result of writing sermon after sermon, I am beginning to see what my more experienced pastor friends have told me "It gets easier."

I believe it gets easier because I notice the flow of my own writing style to greater degree.

I am getting to know the congregation better. I know that look on their faces when I am saying something that resonates with their spirits. I know that look like when I am making no sense. I know that look like when I've brought joy to their hearts.

It gets easier because I'm trusting my own voice more. I'm trusting that it will have the things to say that need to be said. And that some how, some way they will be good news to someone.

But, then at the same time, it doesn't get easier at all.

As much as preaching is an experience filled with spiritual confidence, planning, and attention to the art of the craft, there are moments of doubt.

There are moments of "How in the world am I going to have something to say again next week?"

There are moments of looking at a strange text wondering how sense could be made something that seems so odd.

There are moments in the drafting process where I seek to put my thoughts on paper and its like a bunch of mush running in different directions without the flow needed to tie it all together.

There are moments when preaching seems like the most unusual gift to the church at all-- but regardless of all of this, it keeps on.

And I will keep on too. Looking forward to what the next week's sermon writing experience will entail (well, most of the time). Most of all, thankful to the congregation that has given me a chance to engage in this practice that is for me a feast of joy.