Last night, just as I was getting ready to choose the book I'd peruse before I went to sleep, a good friend who is also a bible teacher emailed me to see if I had started Christ Centered Preaching, by Bryan Chapell. She had already started it, and knew I was intending to read it. I had planned to start at the weekend, but her comment about how convicting it was caused me to grab it and take it upstairs with me.
I am not hoping to become a pastor. But I am a teacher; what a preacher does is what a teacher of women does: opens the Word of God. These words from Chapell were of the "ouch" kind, and I always need to hear those, because I'm a painfully slow learner:
When preachers perceive the power that the Word holds, confidence in their calling grows even as pride in their performance withers. We need not fear our inefectiveness when we speak truths God has empowered to perform his purposes. At the same time, acting as though our talents are responsible for spiritual change is like a messenger claiming credit for ending a war because he delivered the peace documents. The messenger has a noble task to perform, but he jeopardizes his mission and belittles the true victor with claims of personal achievement. Credit, honor, and glory for preaching's effects belongs to Christ alone because his Word alone saves and transforms.