Continuing with this list of preacher confessions (perhaps for non-preachers to benefit from, or perhaps for other preachers to resonate with, or perhaps to stir vulnerable discussion that can be somehow helpful to all):
5. Some preachers really do wrestle prayerfully with the Bible text until they come to some level of understanding that they are willing to share in a public forum. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions about the text, we have probably spent hours in it trying to make sense of all the details, and we probably have another 30-45 minutes’s worth of extra material that we had to cut out. We are wide open to conversation about the text and how God is revealing Himself in it. But to be honest, we may get inwardly frustrated if someone shuts down after ten minutes of listening and dismisses the message because it doesn’t tick some pet view they hold dear without any actual study of the text.
6. Following on from the previous one, most preachers are not looking for debates to win after they preach. If you are willing to have a real conversation about the text and the God who loves us, we will willingly interact without trying to crush your view or pull out a Greek trump card to end the discussion. If you only want to dismiss or correct us and aren’t open to actual conversation, we might be tempted to try to win.
7. Most preachers, most weeks, don’t finish the sermon with a deep sense of having hit the bullseye. Preachers tend to feel fragile after preaching and would often rather curl up on their own somewhere than share conversations ranging from heated debate to stony politeness.
8. All preachers will admit that we aren’t always on “top form.” This doesn’t mean we haven’t been preparing as we should, although it might. There are a whole host of possible reasons, so please don’t assume you know the reason.
I’ll add another four tomorrow . . .