i’m not sure how the folks who do it on a regular basis think, but preaching takes it out of me. i currently have what i like to call an extrovert headache and anticipate a subsequent extrovert hangover to commence soon. i reaaaaalllly need a nap. and i blame preaching completely.
its a really odd thing… i can’t explain it. preaching is very lonely for me and leaves me with a feeling of “what now?”. i find myself constantly asking those closest to me about it afterword – what could i do better? did you get this part? did the message become clear? what were you compelled to think or do? i’m honestly not digging for compliments. and it’s not even about improving a skill. i just need to know it mattered.
you spend so much time working through a piece… diving into the scripture, understanding the context, all the homiletic energy you expend. there’s a moment that arrives that you burst through, light shining on exactly what it is that you’re trying to get at.
then you begin to craft something that you hope will communicate the message. generally it’s not one story or illustration that makes it, but something about how it all fits together. i spent a significant period of time last night reworking today’s message because i had kinda felt like i was sitting with one cheek on a seat. after a good run, i was “where i needed to be” (as i told JJ).
so you do all that… it’s initimate work. with the scripture, with the message. you don’t even have to be telling significantly personal stories, but the act of sharing the message is deeply personal. it’s like you just throw yourself out there for all to see.
i’m always encouraged by positive feedback, even some people saying meaningful things. but generally i’m left wanting. i wonder if it’s like when a chef prepares a gormet meal and a patron just says “thanks.” or even worse, “that tasted a lot like a dish i had at …” i wonder if musicians feel it when after composing a piece people say, “that was pretty.”
i’m not sure exactly what i would be looking for post-sermon. i don’t have an ideal. it was just an observation since i’ve preached a few times recently, all for the first time really when i wasn’t working for the church.
so that’s my day. time for a nap.