Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mixed Emotions: Is It Good To Have A Preaching Break?

I am in the middle of a 2 week preaching hiatus. From the start of 2012, I preached every Sunday through Easter with a few extra sermons thrown in at other speaking venues. That was 16 straight sermons. I'm well aware that's not all that big of a deal when compared to some of my heroes (past- Spurgeon, present- MacArthur) who have preached 50 or more straight at times. But I'm not one of those homiletical giants, and, for me, 16 was starting to take its toll.

Last week my dear friend and associate, Nat LeTowt, preached for me while I was away and did a fantastic job. This week one of my mentors, Dave Shive, will be preaching, and I'll have the privilege of introducing him. The following week it's back to business as usual, and I'll start I'll final leg of the journey in Mark's gospel.

I don't know if all preachers experience what I do, but I'm finding the break to be bittersweet. Lisa noticed a much more relaxed version of myself last week and could see immediate benefits to me not carrying the Sunday morning burden with me Monday through Saturday. That, my friends, is sufficient reason for taking an occasional break! I was thrilled that Lisa enjoyed having a more chilled out husband. Something tells me there's a pretty important principle there for me to think through.

But I have to confess- by late Sunday afternoon, I was kind of eager to get back into my preacher's workshop. Don't get me wrong- I'm excited to have my buddy Dave in the pulpit this week, but I won't lie and say that I'm not champing at the bit to resume my exposition of Mark.

Maybe this conflicted experience of enjoying the break while missing the pulpit is a good thing. The benefits of rest are obvious. But the benefits of a growing eagerness...well- I hope that will just make me a better preacher!

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