Pastor Anthony will preach more often starting from next year. He has shown significant improvement through the TFE (Seminary practicum), especially in preaching. He preached a few times this year as he was getting used to his role as a youth pastor, and the feedback has been very positive. He is also the main speaker for our youth retreat this year.
He will preach between 10-12 times on Sundays. He will do a short series here and there to have a chance to do a deep dive on a topic he feels convicted of. Having a second communicator in a church is always a blessing as it brings freshness to the message. It will also give me more time to work on my sermon series, teaching responsibilities and other ministry initiatives.
The pastor’s primary duties are preaching the Word and praying. (Acts 6:4) Even though Anthony’s official role is youth pastor, we don’t have a separate youth service as we are an intergenerational congregation. So, having more preaching opportunities will benefit our congregation and strengthen his sense of calling as well.
As many say, preaching is an “art.” There are basic principles, but there is no exact formula. One day, I felt like I got it. The next day, I would feel crushed for being an inadequate communicator. But through many years of ups and downs, I have discovered that preaching God’s Word is primarily dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit. There were many times I couldn’t understand the response I was getting. When I thought I nailed it, there was very little response. But when I thought I failed it, some people were deeply touched and changed. Once I realized this, I became freer from the pressure to impress people with my sermon and focus more on discerning what God was saying to our congregation.
As we know, the effectiveness of communication is dependent not only on the communicator but also on the listeners. (Mark 6:5) Our congregation has been very kind and receptive to my less-than-perfect preaching. I encourage our congregation to extend the same receptiveness and kindness to Pastor Anthony’s preaching, not receiving as man’s Word but as God’s message for us. As we humbly give our ears to God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will do his excellent work of transformation in us.