Some guys are natural preachers.
Then, there’s guys like me…
When I was 16, the idea of actually standing in front of a congregation and preaching had never crossed my mind. As a 20 year old junior in Bible College, my preaching class was the one most terrifying part of my day. As a new 22 year old youth minister, my first sermon in a church had me sweating, pacing and praying I didn’t throw up. Through the entire song service, I was reminding God of all the reasons I hated the thought of preaching. I was fervently praying for Jesus to return. Or a tornado. Or an earthquake. Or an ice cream truck. I wasn’t picky… I just needed a distraction so no one would notice I was in over my head.
Well, my prayer was ignored and I got up and preached that sermon on Colossians 1:15-20. I talked way too fast and rambled on and said “um” a couple hundred times. In fact, the entire message was a whopping, life-changing 10 minutes long.
After church was over, though, every one of the 75 people present shook my hand, told me I did a great job and assured me I would be a great – well, good – preacher someday.
Now, I’ve listened to that message since then and I know the delivery was awful, the jokes bombed and the content was weak. I know those people weren’t commenting on my incredible skills and abilities. They weren’t responding to the heart-wrenching work of verbal art I’d just produced.
They were responding to two things… Faith in the power of God to work through the foolishness of preaching. And the potential that comes from embracing God’s gift – no matter how uncomfortable it might be at first.
Skip ahead a few years… Now I’m 35 and I love preaching. It hasn’t been all great since that first message… I’ve laid eggs and dropped bombs and had days when if I’m honest, I should’ve been booed out of the room. But it’s never depended on me. It’s never been about my words or my abilities.
Here’s something I’ve learned along the way… If you’re unwilling to be uncomfortable, you’ll eventually be unfaithful.
God has given you a gift and no matter how uncomfortable it is right now, He expects you to use that gift. It’ll be easier to let frustration take over, throw your hands up and walk away. But the best things we could ever do are often the hardest. Embrace your gift, practice your gift and learn to love your gift. And, someday, stand before your God and listen to Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Be uncomfortable. Be faithful. Be a servant.
Ask yourself today… “Where is God calling you to take uncomfortable steps of faith?”
Soma is currently in the middle of a series called, “Redefining Normal,” where we’re being challenged to redefine “normal” faith, hope and love. You can listen to the messages at http://soma-church.com/soma-videos/soma-messages/redefining-normal-july-6-27/.