#123: Preaching for the Long Haul [PODCAST]

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  • #123: Preaching for the Long Haul [PODCAST]
  • Welcome to The On Preaching Podcast, the podcast dedicating to helping you preach faithfully, clearly, and better.

    What does it take to preach for the long haul?

    Spiritual Growth. Good preachers are growing preacher. The command to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18) is not just for those who hear us preach. Faithful preachers minister from the overflow of their personal devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Believing Prayer. The work of ministry can be summarized as “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). We cannot choose between the two. They are like two wings on a plane, If either fails, we are going down. Prayer is not merely a part of the work; prayer is the work of. It happens after prayer!

    Extending reading. Preachers should view reading as a “spiritual discipline.” Read your Bible. Read the study tools to help you understand the text. But read beyond your private devotions and sermon preparation. Read material on theology, Christian living, church history, pastoral ministry, current events, meaningful biography, and stirring fiction. And, of course, read book about preaching as often as you can.

    Expository Preaching. It is suggested that some pastors move pulpits every few years because they run out of something to say. This is not the case for expository preachers. The Bible is a big book! There is much to learn and much to preach. As you work through books of the Bible or extended sections of scripture, it will keep your preaching fresh, strong, and compelling.

    Sermon Manuscripts. One of most helpful, practical things I can recommend to grow in your preaching is to write out full sermon manuscripts. If you use them in the pulpit or not, you should write yourself clear. Thinking through what you want to say and how you want to say it each week will enable you to preach faithfully and clearly.

    Personal Development. Consider yourself a lifeline learner. Go to school. Or, go back to school. Select a few conferences to attend. Spend time with a mentor or mentee. Develop a new hobby. Get in better shape. Choose to do things that will facilitate ongoing, personal development. As you are growing as a person, you will be growing as a preacher.

    Extended Breaks. If you are serious about the work the Lord has called you to, you will work hard. But to pursue your calling over the long haul, you must take strategic breaks. Take some Sundays off. Go on vacations with your family. Take advantage of any sabbatical your congregation may offer. Recharge your batteries whenever you can so you won’t burn out before you get to the finish line.

    What advice would you offer to carry out the call to preach the word over the long haul?

    You are responsible to preach and to teach what the Bible says, not what you want it to say.

    R.C. Sproul

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    If you have an idea for a podcast episode, a question to ask, or any feedback from what you have heard or read in this episode, you can find H.B. on Twitter, FaceBook, or Instagram (@hbcharlesjr).

    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.