Why I Hate Preaching

6 08 2010

I hate preaching because it involves writing sermons which involves seeking the One higher than myself which I honestly don’t do extremely well.

There, I said it.

Sermon writing is hard because it puts me in such a vulnerable place that it’s beyond uncomfortable –  not solely concerning content, but presentation – it’s just plain hard, unnecessarily hard if you ask me because it implies none of me and all of God. And I’m not used to not putting myself in things. Or waiting. And writing a sermon requires waiting.   

I absolutely hate having to wait on God, more often than not, until the morning of, at some crazy hour like 3 or 4 am. Sitting at a desk. Until it’s finished. The thoughts and then the construction of these thoughts into a cohesive sermon.  

I hate that.

But maybe that’s my problem. All those “I’s”.

I’ve kind of made sermon writing and subsequent preaching about me. There goes that “I” again!

I’m so concerned with saving face, with producing such an amazing sermon sermon that I forget the spiritual practice and discipline it takes to hear from God. Since I don’t want to give a me-induced sermon, I need to get off of my schedule and get on God’s.

And learn that hearing from God is something I need to work on. And that I may need to change something in my day to day, like including time with God in a good portion of it, in order to hear from Him at some other point other than the morning of.

This leads me to the sad conclusion that perhaps my sermon writing could be indicative of something deeper, and more vulnerable than I want to admit.

Maybe my hatred of sermon writing rooted in fear of a late-message, is rooted in my inconsistent communication with God, study of Jesus’ life and legacy and room for the Holy Spirit to speak to me.

Maybe I don’t want to admit that God doesn’t wait until the last moment to speak, but that I wait until the last minute to put my preconceived notions, guard, over-active, wanna-be-super-creative mind down at the altar and slaughter it completely so that there is no trace of me in it. There is no me alive in my reception of the sermon. But me is sacrificed to God. This is what is required in sermon-preparation: slaughtering, slaughtering that God asks for.

Once I do what God has asked, no matter how hard it is for me, maybe I’ll be able to re-utter what He has said.

But that requires a ton of humility. I may have able half a ton right now, which isn’t enough. So “the-night-before-I-preach” moments of panic will have to do until I get into the rhythm of sacrifice and silence.

Sacrifice and silence.

For I don’t want this sermon to be about me; sacrifice and silence is what it will take to mediate to the people, something from God.

Until I preach out of the book of Tomi. Which will never happen.

As long as I call what I love to hate to do, preaching.








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