Someone said for each minute you spend behind the pulpit, spend one hour in preparation. One of the top responsibilities of a Pastor is to faithfully preach the whole counsel of God’s word, carefully explaining the meaning of the text and applying it to the lives of those under his care. As Pastors, we should treat the task of preaching as a sacred responsibility and give our best to prepare and preach a sermon. God expects us to be faithful stewards of His precious Word. How can we claim to be faithful stewards if we don’t even allocate time to prepare. In the past 24 years of ministry, I have met Pastors who walk into the pulpit without preparation, preach rubbish, and then give excuses to defend poor preparation. Do it enough times and then you will have a taste of the following.
1. Breeds Boredom in the Congregation
Poorly prepared sermons breed boredom in the church. You will know when the people in the congregation start wandering in search of greener pastures but by then you are too late. You are not going to keep them unless your messages penetrate their hearts and minds. Poorly prepared sermons enter through one ear and leave through the other. They have come to hear a Word from God. For Christ’s sake get one from the Lord for yourself and then give it to the congregation.
2. You turn from the Preacher to the Joker
Preach to the choir and you will become the joke of the Sunday morning in the presence of everyone. You can also try covering poor preparation by saturating your so-called sermon with irrelevant jokes and the same will happen. Trust me. Some preachers even crack insensitive and even inappropriate jokes from the pulpit to cover up their unprepared state. You will turn from the preacher to the joker and not even know it.
3. People will lose their faith in You
Preach once a poorly prepared sermon and the people will forgive you. Do it twice and people will tolerate you. Do it thrice and the next time nobody will be interested in hearing what you have to say even if you preach a well-prepared sermon next time. Repeat the process and the people will call for your resignation! You will have a hard time finding a job as a preacher because by this time you have got a reputation as a poor preacher, (Remember, we are ministering to the Twitter and WhatsApp Generation!)
4. A half baked Immature Congregation
A Shepherd cannot feed his flock poorly and still expect them to grow healthy and strong. Likewise, preach poor sermons to your congregation and they will end up in spiritual malnourishment. Let them know you take your responsibility and the privilege of preaching God’s word for granted and they will follow the example and end up being a half-baked immature bunch of namesake Christians.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” We can tell the same about preaching. How far will you go to prepare your sermon? What is the highest price you will not hesitate to pay for preparing an effective sermon? Remember, preaching God’s Word is the most sacred responsibility God has trusted us with. He demands that we remain faithful to that responsibility. Preaching God’s Word is a privilege we have. God demands that we don’t take that privilege for granted. The message you preach might be the difference between life and death or heaven and hell for somebody. I sincerely hope and pray this series will inspire you to do better next time.
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