Behind the Curtain

I believe God has blessed me with the gift of public speaking. I hope I am not completely off base when I say that. Twice in my life I have had church leaders say they had the gift of public speaking and then proceeded to speak and convince me otherwise. So I know two things with certainty – One, a sermon that connects is a gift from God. Two, we can overestimate our own ability.

With that said, if you think I have the gift of speaking then I want to take you behind the curtain and show you what the wizard is really up to. Each week is almost the same with only limited variations.

Mondays I come to the office and I try to avoid writing my sermon. I usually try to do any physical or busy work on Monday.
Tuesday is just the opposite. I take a title, text and topic that was selected months before and I dive in with both feet. Usually 4-6 hours of sermon work is done on Tuesday.
Wednesday is when I completely type in my sermon. Might take one to three hours. Wednesday afternoon I hope to make the first edit of the sermon before I go home.
Thursday I edit the sermon one or two more times on the computer. Often I preach through the sermon completely in the auditorium with no one listening.
Friday I stay away from the sermon and take a day off without thinking about it.
Saturday before I go to bed, I read through the sermon and make any final edits. Then I preach through the sermon in my garage. Usually that night I toss and turn and replay every word in my head.
Sunday morning I rise early and then preach through the sermon one more time before heading to the Church. If time permits I will stand in my office and say all the major movements out loud as a final test of my memory.

So by Sunday morning I hope to have written the sermon and edited it three times and preached through it three times.

Why do I tell you all this? Because while I do believe I have the gift of public speaking I also know it takes a lot of hard work to make each week happen. A gift from God is not something that we just do naturally without thought or work. It is a responsibility we are given to be developed to the best of our ability. Being gifted is only a part of the battle.

So how has God gifted you? What are you doing with that gift?

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