It has been my practice since entering ministry, to continually ask myself this question. I have seen many preachers lose their passion for God, and their focus in their ministry. Some it is because their love for God may not have been what is should have been in the first place. Others, it may be that family strain was more than they could handle, and more common still, the time demands, and “stress of the job” wear out some of the finest men of God, on this earth.
It has been my goal, along with my family, to continually evaluate, “What am I doing?” , “Why am I doing It?”, and “Do I Enjoy It?”
Because I am a preacher, I have come up with 3 reasons that I preach. This is not an all-inclusive list, I would simply call these the “Big 3.”
1. Eternal Value.
I have spent 8 years in the construction business in some capacity (My dad was a self-employed carpenter = I was a carpenter) I also spent some time as a delivery boy/medical equipment technician while in college. Both of those Jobs taught me a lot. I will forever be grateful for the skills I have learned working with my dad for many years. It has already saved me a TON of money!
As I look back upon how many cabinets, tables, chairs, desks, counter tops, and displays I helped assemble, sand, stain, or paint I realize that no matter how beautiful the furniture, It would never assist a soul in getting to Heaven. Regardless of the amount of apartments I helped to trim, hang doors, install shelving, install door knobs, towel racks, shower rods, and many other items, those things, regardless of how well placed they were, would never teach someone about Jesus.
No matter how many hospital beds I helped assemble, oxygen tanks I picked up and dropped off, equipment I sanitized, power chairs I put together, and store rooms I organized, those items would never teach a precious soul about the sin in their life.
I do not want to give the impression that these two jobs (along with thousands of others) are meaningless because they are not! But, I have never felt a sense of fulfillment in what I am doing more, than receiving a phone call at midnight from a person I have had a bible study with, saying “I’m ready to become a Christian!” Or that person who walks down the aisle, and says “You touched my heart today with God’s message, I need to repent, and I need your prayers.”
That little boy at camp who walks in the cabin on the first day in a bad mood, and I ask him, “What’s wrong buddy?” and he responds “I hate camp!” Only two evenings later, to walk up to me and say with tears in his eyes, “I want to know what God wants me to do.”
This, is one reason why I preach…
2. It Strengthens Me.
Maybe you have heard the old saying “if you really want to know a subject, teach it!” The saying is true. Being in a position of “teacher” and “preacher” being, someone that people come to for advice, and for prayers, and just searching for a listening ear. This makes me study and pray more than I ever would being in any other position.
When I see someone respond to the Gospel, it strengthens my hope. When I hear songs lifted in praise to our Father, It strengthens my spirit. When I receive a letter saying “Troy, your lesson that you delivered at________ has helped me more than you will ever know!” it strengthens my drive.
When I get to meet/visit with other ministers who are striving for the same thing, and working towards the same goal, it keeps me renewed. I am in ministry to help others get to heaven, but also, selfishly, because I am strengthened as well.
3. Legacy I Want For My Children.
There are many families today who have a strong legacy. There are also many families today who are ashamed of their “heritage.” As they begin to talk about their family, there is that one, or two, or three, or four, or… so people that they wish they could leave out of the equation.
I have been blessed to come from a great family. My father is an honorable, Godly man who has taught me so much about life, and about being a dad. My mother is the perfect example of unconditional love and affection. My sister has more knowledge (about the scriptures, and 1,000 other subjects) than most people I know, and is sweet, caring, and a dedicated Christian, wife, and mother.
I begin to think, what Kind of legacy do I want to leave for my children? What kind of legacy do I want to leave for my grandchildren? Nothing would make me more proud than to hear them when talking about me, describe me as, “A Preacher.” That is a category of great men, which I feel un-worthy to be counted among. But, still this is what I want for them. I want them to look at their dad, granddad, uncle, and so on, and say “he is a preacher” when asked why? I would pray they will respond, “Because, he loves Jesus!”
Romans 10:14- How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Proverbs 27:17- Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Psalm 127:3-4- Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.