On Being Gifted at Something

I have heard it said several times, “That person is so gifted.”
It has even been personalized.  “You are such a gifted preacher.”  There is also the simple “You have a gift.”
Let me tell you the rest of the story.
I went to college and took every preaching class (and speech class) that they offered.  In my second year of college I was too young to land a regular weekend preaching point.  So I signed up for a group called “The Lord’s Reapers” that traveled to congregations to speak about missions and evangelism each week.  This group enabled me to speak at least 3 times a month.
By my third year of college I started preaching every weekend at a little Church in Urich Missouri.  That was in October of 1993. Since the start of that ministry I have preached at least 48 times a year every year except one when I took a Sabbatical and eventually relocated to Alaska.  By my calculations, if you include special sermons, I have preached over 1,100 sermons since I started preaching.
While in college I began listening to sermons as a way to get better.  Back then I would check cassettes out of the Library at college and listen to them when I traveled.  At one point I counted over 1,000 sermons I heard while traveling.  Now I carry hundreds of sermons on my iPhone that I can access anytime.  I quit counting but the number is probably well over 5,000 by now.
I have attended conferences on preaching.  I read books on preaching.  I read articles and blogs on preaching.  I have tried to open up my mind to anyone who could help me in my preaching.
Am I gifted at preaching?  I don’t know.  I do know it took years of work and learning.  It took a great deal of trial and error.  It took years of developing my own style and voice.
Are you gifted?  I don’t know.  I do know you can get better at whatever you set your mind too.

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