With this post, I want to begin a series of weekly pastoral reflections looking back on the Lord’s Day Worship services as well as forward to the next week’s ministry.
I don’t think anyone who is not engaged in the preaching ministry will understand how a Sunday evening feels to a pastor. At first, there is a kind of physical collapse. There is such an emotional build-up to the sermon that when it is done, physical exhaustion sets in. After this comes reflection on the day’s sermons. For me, this usually involves a sense of remorse for not having preached as well as I feel I should have. I think of applications I could have made; explanations that I could have made more clear; wondering whether or not the gospel was sufficiently explained. Like most pastors I never come home on Sunday evening and feel as though I “knocked it out of the park.” Frankly, I think I would get worried if I ever did begin to feel that way. Without doubt, I am my own worst critic, but given the sheer gravity of preaching eternal truths to mortal men, how can we not have high expectations of ourselves.
But after this comes the slow realization that “the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:7). God, not Todd, gives the increase and I begin to look forward to Monday morning’s preparation. There is another week to delve into the word and unpack its riches for the edification of God’s people. I get a renewed passion for the next week’s sermons and look forward to what God may be pleased to do through the preaching of His Holy Word once more. I now think God for the holy dissatisfaction he gives me with my preaching and hopefully, week by week, year by year, he will take this earthen vessel and use it for the building and strengthening of his church.