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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 ...

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From Issue:Winter 2005: Creativity
July/August
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