Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
This morning I read that and thought, I’m not ready to preach.
It’s been over two years since I last preached and I feel I’m “out of season.” I don’t preach on a regular basis (like I did before at the prison and the Barn) so I don’t take the time to prepare to speak. But after reading that verse I was convicted, not condemned…I just had that feeling like, hey you should spend some time getting ready to preach.
Spend 1 hour for every 10 minutes
When I would preach I would spend 1 hour preparing for every 10 minutes I would be speaking. So if I were scheduled for 30 minutes then I knew to invest 3 hours into preparing to speak. This not only prepared me to preach but it was also a great way for me to really learn about whatever it was I felt the Lord wanted me to speak on.
It reminds me of working out. If I know I have a hockey game, a race or a mountain to climb then I have something to train for. I have a clearly defined goal (win, race time, or summit) and I know exactly what I need to do to train. But if I just say, “I want to get in shape” then I most likely will not be too serious about my training.
Clearly defined or ambiguous?
It’s the same when it comes to spiritual disciplines. I’m not saying this will work for everyone but I feel like it’s good for me. Saying that I want to read the Bible more or spend more time in prayer gets me as far as saying I want to get in shape. But when I know I’ll be preaching I know what I have to do: pray, study, and listen to God.
And if you’re looking for ideas that will help you get in the Word more or spend more time in prayer then try this. All you have to do is think, I may be asked to speak for 30 minutes next week. Then spend 3 hours preparing to preach. I know it sounds like you’re tricking yourself (any maybe you are) but who cares? If you end up spending more time reading your Bible and praying as a result wouldn’t that be good?
Like I said, I’m not suggesting this approach is a one-size-fits-all solution for people who struggle with having devotion time but it’s just an idea.
So even though I have no platform to preach from nor any meetings scheduled I will prepare to preach. And now that I’ve posted this I’ve created a way for me to be accountable. So feel free to ask me, “Josh, are you ready to preach?”