I was only 17 years old when I started to preach in Youth Impact Christian Ministries. Ptr. Leovin Pangilinan, our youth pastor gave me the topic, “Appreciation” without scripture or outline. I remember from time to time I was asking the Lord what to preach. I was anxious and nervous, praying like, “Lord if it is possible, take this cup from me”. I wanted to quit even I’m not yet started. But surely when the Lord calls us to do something, whether we are capable or not, God qualifies us.
The first lesson I learned as a preacher is to accept my calling. Preaching carries heavy responsibility but it is also the greatest privilege entrusted to man. There will be a moment the you will hate standing in front of the pulpit, that you will find yourself afraid of speaking, or finding yourself having a hard to prepare a sermon, or you don’t have strength to look at the congregation but remember you are chosen to do this. Season or out of season, you are not just committed to the sermon but committed to God.
Second is to be still and discern the voice of God. “Every worthwhile sermon begins in the heart and mind of God, Who is the source of Truth. Our first task is to learn to receive thoughts of God through waiting patiently. We should make a habit of spending time in His presence. But let us clarify; we must be careful not to enter His presence with the sole idea of getting a sermon. We need to enter God’s presence to expose ourselves regularly to the scrutiny and counsel of God. Rushing into His presence with an urgency which needs a sermon for tomorrow is certainly not an attitude of heart can receive the wonders of the truth.”
Third is to meditate the Word. No one can be effective preacher without knowing and claiming the Word of God. As they always says, “Never asks God to speak unto you without open Bible in your hands.” The ultimate benefit of this is to fall in love with the Author. If we want to know God directly, we need to encounter His Word directly. Do not merely read it on the surface, dig more. Meditate diligently the Word and toss them around your mind. Look on them from every point of view, in every angle. Study the Bible but don’t store it in as a knowledge, plant it in your hearts so it may grow and produce fruits.
The last thing is to set a regular time to study. This requires commitment. Courage like, “I will fight for my time in the Lord.” It is where you shut yourself from the world just to met God. I am grateful that my Pastor disciplines us with regards to devotion. He said, we have no excuse because as long as we can read, we can study the Bible. As long as we can study, we can write it down. We should practice writing down every significant thought that comes in our mind.
God’s Word is mysterious and personally whenever I understand God’s Word, I feel I got to know more who I am and the One Who created me. The joy of unfolding it mystery is priceless.
(Things I learned from Leadership Training 102, Homelitics)