Naked in the Pulpit

How my preaching became an act of intimacy.

Coming out of seminary, I mistakenly thought that the purpose of preaching was to convey information. That was before my trip to India. About a year after I planted Jacob's Well, a friend invited me to India to do some preaching, but it wasn't until I arrived that I learned I would be preaching 14 times in 11 days.

At first, I was angry. How could I possibly prepare 14 sermons in such a short time without all the resources I had back home? Though I am not proud to admit it, this situation exposed the way in which preaching had become, for me, about performing, about impressing people with what I knew. Now, there was no way I could prepare enough to do that.

Then, in the midst of my anger, I sensed God inviting me to something more than preaching. This was an opportunity to be discipled by him for the benefit of the people I was among and for my benefit. So I grudgingly agreed to not prepare. Even though the group was never the same, I also had a sense that I wasn't to preach ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

From Issue:Winter 2005: Creativity
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

The Rise of the New Bishops
The Rise of the New Bishops
Who has chosen the new crop of celebrity church leaders—the people or the publishers?
From the Magazine
Can We Do Better than the Enneagram?
Can We Do Better than the Enneagram?
A look at spiritual formation resources with better scientific backing.
Editor's Pick
His Eye Is on the Pastors
Seasoned Salt
His Eye Is on the Pastors
God sees and watches (as do others), which is both a comfort and a caution as pastors navigate their calling.