Some are under the allusion that preaching is a glamorous occupation. That it is a part-time job with full-time pay. Having worked as a full–time preacher for over nine years I can say that preaching is not a part–time job, and it certainly is not the career choice for those aiming to get rich. One does not preach for self-glory. Nor does one preach for wealth or fame. Why then do preachers choose to preach? I, personally, preach for four simple reasons:
I preach because of the message I get to proclaim. I get to “preach the word!” (2 Timothy 4:4). Whose word? God’s word. As a preacher, I understand that I am not the originator of truth but the communicator of the truth given by God. I am obligated to speak the gospel and it alone (Galatians 1:6-9). As a preacher, I am to preach not myself but Christ. He is to be the center of my life and of my proclamations.
I preach because of the impact I can have on the lives of others. Though preachers often see the worst of circumstances in the church; they also are privileged to see the very best. They are often the first to pray over a newborn baby. They get the opportunity to counsel young couples before entering marriage. They get to study the Bible with lost souls and, in time, see them become great servants in the Kingdom.
I preach because I get to work to save souls. Yes, it takes work to save lost souls. It takes work to develop skills in personal evangelism. It takes work to get to know the community. It takes work to set up Bible studies, but its work I’m willing and excited to do. As a preacher, I must view every individual as a soul that is either lost or saved. I must work diligently to sow the seed, trusting that God will give the increase. This Jesus did (Luke 19:10) and this I must do.
I preach because my treasure is laid up in heaven instead of earthly bank accounts. There is nothing wrong with having money. As a husband and a father, I must provide for my family. I understand that the “worker is worthy of his wage.” I believe preachers should be paid for the tremendous work they do. However, the true reward for dedicating one’s life to preaching the gospel will be realized in heaven.
My greatest passion is to be an effective servant of God. If it were impossible for me to be a full-time preacher, I would joyfully be a part-time preacher. If I could not be a part-time preacher, I would be happy to serve as a fill-in preacher. If I could not be a fill-in preacher, I would beg until I found some soul who wanted to hear about my Savior. As Peter said while on trial, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). I have not seen what Peter saw, but I have heard the written word and it has changed my life. What a joy it is to be a preacher and see people’s lives changed.
1. Preaching is not as glamorous as many aspiring preachers think it is.
2. Even humble preachers, at times, must battle against pride.
3. The true secret to a successful ministry is not Bible knowledge or communication skills, but love for the people with whom you serve.
4. The preacher is probably the loneliest person in the congregation. This is not because he has no friends but because very few people can relate to the life of a preacher.
5. You will probably never be the best at what you do, but you can be effective.
6. You should never be too busy to be a husband and a father.
7. The only way you’ll stick to preaching is if you become a professional at handling criticism and negativity.
8.There are often unusual and unfair expectations placed upon the preacher and his family that most other members would not be subjected to.
9. The preacher must master time-management and have the ability to be a self-starter. With this his ministry will either succeed or fail.
10. Balance is everything. Unbalanced preachers are a detriment to the cause.
11. There is no substitute for diligent Bible study.
12. The happiest preachers are the ones who find time to take a break from church work.