There is something about the world of preaching that is hard to describe unless you are in that world. People often have ideas about preachers that are based on his public persona, and build this idea that he is some type of super-Christian.
Because of that perception, people often think of the preacher as standoffish or cold. To some, he is almost like a robot and they do not see what happens when he is not in the pulpit or in front of a classroom. To others, they figure he just can’t be “that good,” and assume he must be hypocritical.
Today, I would like to share 7 things you may not know about your preacher. Maybe seeing this list will help you appreciate him and know how to pray for him.
He Has Prayed for You. He may not express it, but he has prayed for you. He may seem almost unfeeling when you talk to him, but your name has gone before the throne of God in his prayers because he loves you.
In His Mind, He Has Never Preached an “A+” Sermon. Nearly without exception, a preacher is his own harshest critic. There is always the illustration he should have used, the word he mispronounced, the passage he misquoted, and so on. It is not that he thinks he is failing to preach the truth, but each time you may think he hit a home run, he has already started finding what needs to be improved upon.
He Struggles to Balance His Time. “He never visits.” Or “He’s never in his office.” Trust me, he thinks about that! Every day, he knows a sermon or class that needs to be studied or further developed. And every day, he knows that shut-in or widow that needs to be visited again. And every day, he struggles with how much of each to strive for.
He Has Wept When No One Responded. It is not that he cries because he thinks the sermon was amazing or that he wants to boast about “the numbers.” It is because he has given his all in the study and delivery, only to see people get out their keys and be ready to leave before he is even finished, all the while knowing that there is someone who needs to come to the Lord.
He Knows Jeremiah 20:9 Very Well. I have told people that I think about quitting every Sunday night. Of course, I am kidding, but true ministry is draining, and there are days when you are not sure you can do it much longer. But that fire really is deep in the bones, and the prospect of being honored to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ again is too much to resist. It just has to be let out!
He Wonders Which Phone Call Will Change His Life. Think about it: every time his phone rings, it could be someone who has lost a loved one, who has had a spouse up and leave, or an elder telling him that there is some grumbling about his work. On the other side, each phone call could be the news that a new baby has been born, a young couple has decided to get married and wants him to help, or a prospect has decided to put Christ on in baptism. Each time the phone rings, it could literally change his life for the next few hours, or even days at a time.
He Cannot “Shut It Off.” True ministry consumes his life. Even when he finally takes that much-needed vacation with his family, his mind is regularly thinking about the sermon he will preach next Sunday or the visits he needs to make as soon as he returns. He is wondering if he should step away for a few moments to call and check on someone.
Each time I write a post like this, some take it as a type of “cry for help,” because something is wrong and I’m trying to subtly talk about something through an online article. That is not my intention at all! I love ministry and I love preaching!
But I do want people to understand the mindset of a preacher. The fact of the matter is, whether he is good at expressing it or not, he loves the Lord, he loves his work, and he loves you. But he also wants you to know that he isn’t a super-Christian; almost some type of folk hero.
He just is a man striving to do his best and his heart’s desire is for all others to do just that, too.
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching….do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:2, 5b)
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn
Photo background credit: Jake Guild on Creative Commons