Preaching today

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jambo

Puritan Board Senior
I was preaching this morning. Normally I love my breakfast but on mornings I am preaching I do not enjoy breakfast as its hard to eat due to the nerves in the stomach. It would be easier to do without breakfast on such a day as this but as a diabetic I really need to eat.

When I arrive at at church I watch those arriving all relaxed and almost envy them not having to get up before people and speak. If I have to write anything down prior to the service my hand shakes that I can hardly make out my own writing. As the person leads and my time to get up and preach gets closer my heart begins to beat faster. "Just after this hymn I have to get into the pulpit..."

What gets me is that I have been preaching for 25 years and I am as nervous today as I was all these years ago.

I recall reading about one Hugh McAil, one the Covenanters, who as he climbed the steps to the gallows said he found it easier to climb the steps to the gallows than the steps to his own pulpit.

I would be interested to know from others who have been preaching for a number of years if nerves still affect them.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Sure glad to know that some teachers realize the awful responsibilities that they are under. Thanks for taking your duty so seriously.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Stuart, I feel pressure (nervousness) in my preparation. I am never - never satisfied with the content of my sermon. I pour over my sermon notes and edit until it is time to head to church. I am conscious of the great responsibility that accompanies proclaiming the Word of God. James' warning, "Let not many of you become teachers" echoes in my brain. Once I get to church I am fine. I've done all I can do and I pray that our Sovereign God uses His Word, even though proclaimed by such an unworthy vessel, for His purpose.
 

PresbyDane

Puritanboard Doctor
I was preaching this morning. Normally I love my breakfast but on mornings I am preaching I do not enjoy breakfast as its hard to eat due to the nerves in the stomach. It would be easier to do without breakfast on such a day as this but as a diabetic I really need to eat.

When I arrive at at church I watch those arriving all relaxed and almost envy them not having to get up before people and speak. If I have to write anything down prior to the service my hand shakes that I can hardly make out my own writing. As the person leads and my time to get up and preach gets closer my heart begins to beat faster. "Just after this hymn I have to get into the pulpit..."

What gets me is that I have been preaching for 25 years and I am as nervous today as I was all these years ago.

I recall reading about one Hugh McAil, one the Covenanters, who as he climbed the steps to the gallows said he found it easier to climb the steps to the gallows than the steps to his own pulpit.

I would be interested to know from others who have been preaching for a number of years if nerves still affect them.

I know excatly what you mean, and it is not very encouraging that it does not improve over 25 years, since I am 25 and I hoped it would get better by the time I am 50 but oh well then I will live by the same grace to preach then as I do now.
For His Glory.
 

JonathanHunt

Puritan Board Senior
I will confess that I don't generally get the shakes/sweats/need for the toilet kind of nerves that much any more. Actually, when we started doing sunday school (for children as an evangelistic outreach) I think I went back to the toilet three times in fifteen minutes!

I never eat before preaching, on Lord's Days I eat at about 13.30 and then about 20.30 after both services. I cannot stomach food when I preach, so you could say there is a lot of tension there in my stomach.

I get especially nervous (and can get shakes/sweats etc) when I know that there are visitors or unsaved in the congregation who need Christ. The urgency of the unbeliever's plight always makes me feel such a wretched tool and wish that anyone but me might stand up and preach the gospel.
 

tonyhipps

Puritan Board Freshman
I've been in Bible college for two years, and have only preached 10 sermons.

My ministry is with the youth on Wednesday nights, and since we don't have an associate pastor it seems that I've become the "go to man" when the Pastor can't make a Sunday night service (He's still in seminary and sometimes has papers due on Monday mornings).

So far all ten sermons have been excruciatingly nerve racking. Especially when I'm called a couple of hours before the service and told that I'll be preaching that night.

I always finish with the feeling that I botched it or something. Even though everyone tells me what a good job I did, I think that they are just being polite.

But what is so awesome is that no matter how bad I feel like I did, I have seen the Holy Spirit move in remarkable ways.

After preaching one night on Romans 12:1-8, a married couple who previously would be the last to arrive and sit on the back row, and then the first to to leave, came forward and said that they had been convicted for not helping in any of the church ministries and wanted to start helping any way they could. They have since become very productive members. That was an awesome night.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in my limited experience behind the pulpit, for me it is definitely worth the clammy hands and cold sweats.
 
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