Chatting with a good friend last week we got on to the subject of motivation for preaching. Whether you preach every week or periodically, there is always the possibility of losing your passion to preach. It’s good to be aware of what might cause the passion to drain away, so here are some ideas:
Passion for God – Has your abiding grown stale? At its core, preaching is about representing God as you speak for Him. If the connection grows dull, then the spark to preach will often go with it. Remember Jesus’ words in John 15 – apart from me you can do nothing. Strong stuff. So it is always good to ask ourselves about the state of our abiding . . . am I not only tipping my hat to the Lord, but leaning into Him, more than that, am I pressed up against Him? If not, then my internal motivation tank will easy drain and leave me sapped of passion to preach.
Passion for God’s Word – Have you settled for knowing, rather than being in God’s Word? At its core, biblical preaching is about re-presenting God’s Word as you speak for Him. If the Word isn’t fresh and exciting and personal and relevant to your life, then your passion to preach it to others might fade. Being an “expert” in the Bible doesn’t guarantee a passion to preach it. I could list theological faculties with experts in the Bible who have zero passion to preach it because it is not personally engaging them. Jesus faced Bible experts with no passion for anything but making themselves look good and killing him! Expertise is not the key, present experience of encountering God in the Word is.
We could ponder further issues like prayer, spiritually stimulating fellowship, etc. But for now let’s leave it with a focus on abiding in Christ and in His Word. More tomorrow, with the gaze in a different direction, perhaps…