We have a great collection of reading for you this week. Enjoy and be blessed!
Nothing excites me more than the week in and week out ministry of preaching. The preparation is a joyous burden that shapes my character, challenges my skills, and encourages my personal relationship with God. And sermon delivery is a sacred honor. I’m awed by the fact that God and his people allow me to do this public work that has such personal, and yes, eternal, implications.
This wonderful work, however, has a few pitfalls that keep those of us who do it in a vulnerable position. We are but human, and language is the medium of influence. We preach with words, yet even Solomon said, “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19, CSB).
Both written and oral words are opportunities for the Holy Spirit to communicate with power. Written words, however, are subject to the editor’s judgment before going public. The extemporaneous nature of preaching, on the other hand, while engaging, can also produce unhelpful words that distract from the message of God.
Anyone who preaches feels the weight of this, and we have all replayed unforced errors in our mind on Sunday afternoon only to hold out hope for a forgiving, or at least a forgetful, congregation. So prayer, sound exegesis, and common sense help us to preach better sermons. Avoiding these four phrases falls into the latter category.