Are you ready to preach? If you are the preaching pastor of a church, you probably answered in the affirmative. At least you are in a position to be ready very soon. But what about those of us who preach less frequently? Are you an associate minister who preaches once a month or perhaps even less frequently than that? Are you a traveling minister who is only starting to get calls to minister? If so you might be tempted to put off sermon preparation and practice until later.
Disloyalty to the People of God
Such procrastination demonstrates a three-fold disloyalty as well as shortsightedness. It is first of all disloyal to the people. Ministers get called away, sometimes on very short notice. If you do not have at least one sermon in the pipeline, you will either not be ready to preach, or you will give the people a half-baked sermon. In either case, it is disloyal to the people. The people have come to hear a word from the Lord. There are hurting people who need a life-giving word. What will you do if you are not ready?
Disloyal to Our Call To Preach
This procrastination is also a disloyalty to our call. God has called us to preach the gospel. That is why we are preachers. Such a call requires the groundwork as well as the readiness to preach when the time comes. Too many preachers are not ready and therefore limit what God can do through the ministry that God has given to them.
Disloyal to God
Related to the previous one, it is disloyalty to God. God expects you to preach when God calls on you. God may call on you when the preaching pastor got sick the night before. God may call on you when the preaching pastor can’t get back in town due to unforeseen circumstances. God may call on you becuase you are the only preacher in the house. In any case, when God calls the only correct answer is “here am I send me.” Are you ready to answer that way?
How to be ready? Keep up your prayer life. Without prayer there is little power. Keep up your devotional study of the Bible. In addition to prayer, Bible study provides power to our preaching. Always have 2 or 3 sermons in the pipeline. If you are a preacher you should always be working on a sermon. Finally, always have at least one sermon that you can pull out at a moments notice. If you are a preacher, then act like one!