One of the particular challenges of preaching is the every-weekness of it. Preaching is relentless – week after week we have to stand and deliver, and sometimes more often than that. It wasn’t so long ago that most preachers would preach every Sunday morning and evening, not to mention Wednesday nights as well. I have several Korean brothers who preach every single day and sometimes more than once on each of those days. My wife is a chaplain serving Senior Citizens. She is required to open the Word of God several times a week before these spiritually hungry people.
It is a lot to ask.
Of course, the relentlessness of the preaching calendar is in the favor of the gospel and works to our benefit as well. We might not hit a home run every time to the pulpit, but over time, week after week, our preaching has a cumulative effect that can be very powerful for the people.
I am mindful of the fact, however, that as I train preachers, describing for them ways toward an ideal sermon, the reality is that the pressures of any given week will conspire against the offer of our very best. I know that some weeks we will simply have to do the best we can with what we have. In such weeks I am comforted by the knowledge that preaching, ultimately is God’s task and he will do his will by his Spirit, even when the preacher is personally overwhelmed. At the same time, I don’t use this as an excuse that might justify haphazard effort on my own behalf.
The discipline of the preaching schedule is a good thing for our listeners. It is also a good thing for us as we commit ourselves to faithful, regular, engagement with God’s Word, not solely for the professional purpose of the production of our preaching, but for the health and vitality of our own souls – week after week, Sunday after Sunday.
We preach in the faith that God will fill up what is lacking. We keep preaching week by week in the confidence that God will use his Word by his Spirit, even through his tired and sometimes over-extended servants.