I need to sit under someone else's teaching.
I'm not going to speak for anyone but myself in saying this, but as a pastor - or more so, as a preacher - I fight a battle any time I spend time in the scriptures. The struggle is this: I'm always thinking about how to preach or communicate what I'm reading. I'm thinking about how those I lead need to be encouraged, challenged, or convicted by the truth that's impacted me. Which brings us to the problem and the struggle: My natural tendency is to read the scripture thinking about how it needs to impact everyone else, not me. I wrestle with the need to wrestle with the scriptures for my own benefit - with the hunger, desperation, and desire for the Word of God to transform my own heart and mind - not just for a fresh word for everyone else.
What does this have to do with taking a Sunday off from preaching?
Good question. I'll answer it with an example.
This past Sunday at The Brook our Youth Pastor, Chip preached. It was a great sermon! The Lord really used it to stir my heart, encourage me, and challenge me to be in persistent prayer on behalf of others in my life; because Jesus is always interceding for me, I should be interceding for others. That by itself was enough. But let me explain what else this did for me. Because I wasn't thinking about what I was about to preach, the time of corporate worship was a huge refreshment to my soul. It was possibly one of the most unhindered outpourings of worship & praise I've had in quite some time. I can't begin to describe what a blessing this was for me.
During the week leading up, the Lord really opened up the Word for me on a personal level. As I was reading through the Sermon on the Mount (along with The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer), I wasn't thinking about how this really needed to be heard or understood by someone else. It was for me. I needed it. The Holy Spirit did some serious internal recon into my heart. There were definitely some much-needed moments of repentance. And as a result, a much-welcomed wave of restoration over my heart.
I need to sit under someone else's teaching to be reminded that:
- I am not the sole authority on the Word of God
- I am not the only one who can communicate & teach our people
- If I am not humbly learning from the scriptures, I probably shouldn't be teaching the scriptures
- The Good News is actually for me as well
- The first person I need to be preaching the Gospel to is myself
- The greatest enemy of the pastor and preacher is PRIDE
Pastor(s) - I pray that you are taking opportunity to sit under someone else's teaching. I pray that you are seizing opportunities, not just to rightly communicate the scriptures, but to be personally transformed by them in your own personal life, your home, and into the innermost parts of who you are.
More to come on Why I Don't Preach All the Time....