I learn by coaching
I love to preach, but sermon preparation has never come easily to me. Worse, outside of the occasional comments from my congregation—"Good sermon, Pastor!" or "I really liked that story about … "—there was no one who could offer constructive feedback. Consequently, Mondays were usually filled with nagging feelings of inadequacy. I learned to deal with this over the years through experience and prayer. But many younger pastors struggle with "I wonder how I'm doing" week after week.
Some time ago, I was talking on the phone with Jeff, a longtime friend and a young pastor fresh out of seminary. I heard echoes of my early struggles in his questions: "When do you block out study time?" "How do you move from text to sermon?" "Where do you find good illustrations?"
Suddenly, I had one of those "Aha!" moments. The familiar passage in 2 Timothy came to mind: "And the things that you have heard from me … commit these to faithful men who will be able to ...1