I had been preaching for more than two decades, and I should have been at the top of my game. The church I served ran up to 1,500 on Sunday mornings, and the live telecast of our services covered a fair portion of several states. Most of my colleagues thought I had it made, and if invitations to speak in other churches were any sign, they thought I could preach.
But I didn't.
My confidence was taking a beating as some of the leaders let me know repeatedly that my pulpit work was not up to their standards. Previous pastors carried the reputation of pulpit masters, something I never claimed for myself. To make matters worse, we had numerous vacancies on staff and my sermon preparation was suffering due to a heavy load of pastoral ministry. But you do what you have to do. Most days, my goal was to keep my head above water. Every day without drowning became a good day.
That's when I got serious about praying for my preaching.
Each night I walked a four-mile route through my neighborhood and talked ...1