This is probably more of a journal entry for my own enjoyment and memories than any sort of “deep thought” on Christian living or ministry. It’s sort of introspective, but it’s no less important.
That’s because I really enjoy preaching and I see the opportunity to do it a precious gift from God. No matter the setting, the size of the crowd or even my own emotional state (from burdened to joyful), preaching God’s word, pointing to Christ and spending time explaining the glories of God is just flat out great. And I have to thank God for the opportunities to preach and for trusting me with the responsibility.
In 2015 specifically, I got to that weighty, but joyful task over 20 times for at least 9 congregations (at least as noted by my itinerary page … I may have missed one or two?). Now that’s hardly the workload of a pastor (fulltime or bi-vocational). I know because I remember (fondly, I should add) when I was pastoring Crestview Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC, I would speak around 3 times each week about 51 weeks a year. So speaking 20 times in the course of a year isn’t a lot in the scheme of things … but each opportunity represented a God-given gift to speak to His people about His glorious message and a Divinely appointed mission to warn sinners of His coming wrath.
I have to admit that I didn’t realize the glory and the grace of what I had when I had it (though the enjoyment was still definitely there). But now the joy of preaching remains while the appreciation of the gift is clearer than ever.
I pray that God will continue to use me in 2016 to encourage, the exhort, to correct and to warn. You can keep watching my itinerary page to see exactly how God will do that. I hope you’ll pray for me to be a useful servant to our great God and King.