I didn’t have to preach today. We had a guest preacher for the final week of a stewardship emphasis we had today.
Sometimes it’s harder to sit and listen to a sermon than to preach one. Know why? As a preacher you tend to over-analyze every sermon. You’re constantly critiquing the speaker’s style, content, stories and delivery, rather than just listening, expecting God to speak through that person. It’s not too much different than watching sports and second-guessing the plays that are called. You would have done things so differently. And you would have done so much better.
Perhaps part of the problem is that we get a lot of training in preaching, but very little in listening. Listening is hard work. It’s tough to shut down all the other things going on in your mind and shut out the distractions around you to truly hear what someone is saying. Plus, we preachers get a lot of practice preaching, but little in listening. I did most of my listening before I started preaching, but not much afterwards. I think I need to do more. That’s one resource that’s available to me. There are zillions of sermons I can listen to online.
So even though I really didn’t hear anything new or especially interesting this morning, I did get a message. I need to learn how to listen better. And to do that, I’ll have to do some listening. I’ll let you know what I learn and who I find to listen to.