Dallas Willard has an great piece over at Preaching Today, on the subject of excellent preaching. The subhead really says it all: “learning to preach from the overflow of your deeply satisfying relationship with the Savior.”
As usual, he nails it. The lowest spots in my ministry have mirrored his. “I know my temptations come out of situations where I am dissatisfied, not content. I am worried about something or not feeling the sufficiency I know is there. If I have a strong temptation, it will be out of my dissatisfaction.” And it didn’t take me very long to discover that my church is full of people just like me. Ministry in a church is not without its rewards, but I can’t depend on my successes there, or my relationships in the church, rewarding though they may be, to make me satisified.
So what’s the solution? Find something more satisfying: a deeper and more rewarding relationship with the Savior:
I encourage pastors to have substantial times every week when they do nothing but enjoy God. That may mean walking by a stream, looking at a flower, listening to music, or watching your children or grandchildren play without your constantly trying to control them. Experience the fullness of God, think about the good things God has done for you, and realize he has done well by you. If there is a problem doing that, then work through the problem, because we cannot really serve him if we do not genuinely love him.