We preachers often wonder whether our words have any effect. The people we preach to and the world around us pretty much look the same week after week. It doesn’t often look like the Good News has caught fire in people’s hearts. It doesn’t look like the reign of God is being built. For all our efforts to preach the Good News, how come it looks like nothing much is changing?
To be an amateur means you do what you do for the love of it. Not because you have to. Not because you get paid for it. And not because you have a deadline to meet. You do it because you love it. The “greats” in any craft become great because they’re amateurs first. They pursue their craft with joy, zest, and fascination.
If someone asked why we’re called to preach, we’d likely have a ready answer. We’re practiced in the art of the spiritual answer, abdicating the role of our “self” in arriving at ministry’s doorstep, preferring to lay responsibility at the feet of a divine, outside call. And that’s true. But perhaps not complete.
Christmas is a glorious feast, and yet it can leave us drained, longing for a few minutes alone with that sleeping baby boy. We, too, need to fall on our knees to adore God. To help you renew your spirit, I’ve created a stay-at-home, guided retreat you can “take” on any quiet day during Christmastide. Designed to accommodate your choice of three schedules—one hour, three hours, or six—this retreat will guide your feet into the way of peace.
There are times preachers need a community beyond their own congregations. And often, other preachers are invaluable when wrestling the challenges of parish life—from handling a delicate conflict to finding something new to say in your sermon…again. Check out four times you need other preachers in your life, and consider ways you might cultivate that community for yourself.
We often fail to understand the ways our everyday choices impact our environment and, in turn, our neighbor's quality of life. As preachers, we have an obligation to illuminate this reality and invite our listeners into a new dimension of relationship with their neighbors through creation. And not just on Earth Day.