Sunday, October 02, 2005

Just from my gut...

NOTE: This is NOT a shameless plug for compliments...just what I'm thinking...don't feel like you need to fix me. In fact this post is probably more for my benefit than it is for yours, but I'm committed to being real, so here goes... The whole process of teaching/preaching is sometimes very strange to me. There are times that I'm pumped about the topic, pumped about my talk, etc., but at the end of the day, I know that it was a very forgettable talk. Then there are times when everything seems out of whack, and yet God seems to use it to speak to people. I spoke at New Community (our midweek service this week). It wasn't bad, but I didn't think it was great, and yet I've had several people tell me it was one of the best sermons that they've heard me give (whatever that means...I'm not always sure -- does it mean that it was really from God, or just cleverly put together, or funny, or touching? I really don't always know what to do with compliments, but that's another post.) And then tonight I Nexus, I felt like I delivered a bomb. I was pumped about the topic, had put a lot of work into it, and yet in the moment, it felt like I was stumbling over my thoughts and notes, couldn't say anything right get the idea. I think there are a couple reasons... 1. I was speaking on a topic that is new ground for me. I wasn't trained how to talk to seekers about other religions -- I was in very uncomfortable territory -- and it showed. This is a topic that I love one-on-one, but hard to do in a group setting. (How do you really deal with the question "What about other religions," in a gracious way that gives respect to othere religions, but also draws lines in the sand, and does this with a seeker audience in mind?) 2. We're doing this series that is called "Exploring the tough questions," and it's more heady than normal fare, which means I feel like I'm stretching for application. Application has been drilled into me so much...maybe I don't have to have an action step for talks like this one? I don't know...I'm struggling. 3. I never hit my stride tonight...that just happens's hard to explain if you've never done it. Sometimes words just flow and other times they stick -- tonight they stuck. 4. Pride -- to be really honest, after Wednesday a certain amount of pride has lodged itself in my soul and I've been battling for a couple days -- dangerous ground for a preacher, and when God corrects, the enemy loves to use God's gentle discipline to belittle us and make us question our call. 5. I'm still struggling with understanding the Nexus crowd -- they're great, but I'm trying to figure out what twentysomething seekers are, and do we even have any? Or, am I preaching to the choir? Just one last thought. When I'm working on my house and I screw up, generally nobody knows but me, unless I tell someone, and usually it's after the fact, when I've fixed it, and I can laugh at it. When you're a pastor and you have an "off night," it's very public and hard to deal with. Okay...after re-reading this post I sound like a basketcase. I'm really not. I promise. I'm okay. It's happened before. I just wanted to capture this -- maybe ask for your prayers...for someone who's still on a journey trying to figure out what it means to be called of God to preach/teach.


Dan Luebcke said...

Thanks man! A wise old sage named Fritz once said, "It's never as bad as it seems and it's never as good as it seems."

In season and out bro! Keep it coming!

ckd said...

Great encouragement Dan! Somewhere in the recesses of my memory I've either heard Fritz say that before, or maybe I've heard you say it...but thanks!

That's perspective that only a grizzled, old veteran like Fritz can pull out!