“I Am Tired of Preaching”

Someone, presumably a pastor, visited my blog early Sunday morning after running a Google search on the phrase, “I am tired of preaching.” (Here is the post Google returned: Preaching Tired.) It was a reminder to me that many pastors struggle with the week in and week out preaching of God’s word.

Preaching is hard work. The preparation is demanding — both the preparation for the message as well as the personal preparation of the preacher. And then the act of preaching itself is demanding. The prophet Habakkuk called it a burden (Habakkuk 1:1 – the Hebrew word for “oracle” carries the idea of a burden). C.J. Mahaney once said he heard that a pastor does the equivalent of four hours of work in just one hour of preaching. He then added with a sly grin, “I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems to be a rumor worth spreading!”

How long has it been since you expressed appreciation to your pastor for the weekly work of preaching God’s word? Perhaps today would be a good day to send a note of thanks and encouragement.

P.S. If you’re the pastor who visited my blog yesterday, hang in there. I hope you had a good day yesterday. And here is a good verse for you from the book of Galatians: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

30 Comments

  1. Gary Sellars says:

    How do I say this without sounding critical, self-righteous, pretentious, arrogant, and a horse’s behind?

    I’ll just have to hope that you hear God instead of me.

    Jesus said that the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
    Good preaching is an overflow of the good treasure that a man has received in his heart. Jesus also said that the flesh profits nothing. It’s the spirit who gives life.

    Do you really think that Peter had a hard time getting up on the day of Pentecost and preaching Jesus to them? No way.

    Preaching from an inward flow REQUIRES an inward flow. If a man’s life is right, and he’s taught of God, preaching is the easiest part of the job.

    Now, you understand, of course, that none of this applies to any man who isn’t where God wants him to be or doesn’t even understand that “living by faith” includes even our very thoughts (Rom 14:23b).

    Jesus also said, “IF you ABIDE in My Word, then you are TRULY My disciples and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” It’s plain that the operative word here is “abide” for it’s clear that becoming free is contingent on abiding in the Word.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Gary – What you describe is certainly the ideal. And I am confident that all pastors truly called by God experience the joy of preaching regularly. But pastors are human also and sinners, and we are not always on the mountaintop. And even when we are abiding fully in Christ, preaching is still hard work. That’s not a bad thing. It just means that the weekly preparation and preaching of God’s word is a demanding task, as it should be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Gary Sellars says:

    Ray, it’s not the ideal, it’s the normal Christian life.

    Please don’t misunderstand and think that I’m suggesting that troubles and trials aren’t part of a Godly preacher’s life. They’re part of every believer’s life. But how many preachers are BELIEVING what the Bible says about their trials?

    Here’s where the “hard part” comes in. Rejoicing in the face of adversity. Trusting God that even though circumstances testify that everything is falling apart, nothing is working right, everyone’s against us, etc., God really is on our side and He will cause us to triumph if we stand firm in faith and trust Him in spite of what the natural testifies to us.

    That’s not easy. Preaching under the anointing is easy. Flowing in the spirit is easy. Believing the promises of God when all evidence testifies contrary to His promises is a great temptation to succumb to unbelief and this is when and where the preacher needs to not be looking for a sermon but believing the promises of God. Trusting God. Telling God that we know that He is faithful and that He won’t forsake us. Of course, it’s not God that needs to be convinced. Our declarations are for ourselves and for the enemy and for the circumstances that oppose us because Jesus also said, “Whosoever shall say to this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

    Ray, how many preachers do you know that preach that verse as a genuine truth and a promise that we can believe?

    I’ve been a believer over 37 years and most preachers DON’T believe that verse and WON’T preach it and IF someone stands up and says it’s true, they’re condemned for believing the heresy of “blab it and grab it — name it and claim it” because most preachers, as most Christians, are so full of unbelief that even when the Word of God says something so plainly that misunderstanding it is virtually impossible, the masses of half-dead lukewarm “believers” simply REFUSE to believe the Word of God for what it simply says.

    As Andrew Wommack says, “That’s tight, but that’s right.”

    Open your computer Bible and select key words that will quickly bring up many promises of God in the NT and read them quickly and see if it doesn’t proclaim a life that is far removed from what most “Christians” consider normal.

    Ray, our problem is unbelief; plain and simple.

  4. Gary Sellars says:

    Oh yeah, how does, “And even when we are abiding fully in Christ, preaching is still hard work. That’s not a bad thing. It just means that the weekly preparation and preaching of God’s word is a demanding task, as it should be” jibe with “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me and you will have rest unto your souls, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light”?

    It doesn’t, Ray. It just doesn’t. Furthermore, you can’t find Scripture that says either that it does or that it should.

    Jesus said, “Freely you’ve received. Freely give.” Ray, the Lord has given me a lot. He’s spoken to me many times and given me much revelation. None of it took any effort on my part. None of it was hard; none of it was difficult and none of it was a burden.

    Now, I’ve had problems, difficulties and burdens. But they were there primarily because of my pride and self-sufficiency. I had an attitude that most people have. One of “I’m going to BE somebody. I’m going to ACCOMPLISH something. I’m special. I’m gonna do it, etc.” My trials have worked to convince that “the flesh profits nothing. It’s the spirit who gives life.” The quicker I face trials with rejoicing and praise and thanksgiving, it’s amazing. The more I take my eyes off the trial and put them on Jesus, the less weighty and the less significant the trials get to be.

    And I want to say it again. I never got anything of value from Jesus because of my hard work. Everything He’s given me, He’s GIVEN me — I didn’t get it through my hard work or my diligence. My testimony agrees with Scripture.

    BTW, that Scripture that says, “Study to show yourself approved unto God — a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth” — check out the word “study” in the Greek. It DOESN’T mean “study.” It means “be quick.” An honest man won’t try to wrest “be quick” to mean “work hard.” Take that verse out of the Bible and you don’t any verse that tells believers to study. But it does tell us to “abide.” It tells us to abide in Him and to abide in the Word. I don’t know if you’ve ever meditated on that word but you should. How much work does it take to “live,” “dwell,” “stay” or “abide”? All those words are good ways to translate the Greek word that the KJV translates “continue.”

    You might say, “Well look at all the study you’ve done. That’s work!” I’d have to tell you that’s not true. Oh, there were times where, in my pride and self-righteousness and sense of “responsibility,” that I’d sit down with a self-imposed burden of “laboring in the word” but — please listen to this — I’ve never gotten any benefit from doing so. The Lord doesn’t minister to me when I’m doing anything for which I could take the credit. Oh, I hope you hear that.

    It’s in rest that He ministers to me. It’s in peace and tranquility and the recognition that everything is a gift from His bountiful grace that I receive wisdom and revelation and grace and understanding.

    It was about 16 years ago that I began to see that “seeking God” was FAR more productive when I had a smile on my face, was in a comfortable position and realized that hearing Him was a gift of His grace. Ray, this agrees with the message of Galatians, which was the first book that the Lord personally emphasized to me as a young believer.

    Give up all aspirations to be credited with diligence, faithfulness, hard work, etc. and recognize that the riches of His inheritance are freely given to you by your faith in His finished work and enjoy His bounty!

    Realize that this insight WAS the purpose that the Law was given. It was designed by God to convince men that no matter how hard they tried, they simply could NOT do everything right. The Law was our tutor to lead us to Christ. (Gal 3:24) Now, we’ve been justified from all things, from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts 13:39)

    Remember the keywords that I suggested you use. Start with “all things.” That will amaze you at what all God has done.

    Now, I must say, lest my words be completely disregarded on what seems to me a minor point, you can find justification for those very things that I’m suggesting are not the way of God for us.

    In other words, as anyone who has spent much time in the Word of God has found, some things *seem* to go clearly counter to other things, such as faith (Paul) and works (James). If you’ve spent a great deal of time desiring to hear God (and not directed by the doctrines of men) you’ve encountered this many times. We seek God for wisdom and understanding in these things and we know that different men arrive at different conclusions. Paul addresses this in Rom 14 and simply says, “Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.” In the matter of hard work and discipline vs. trusting the redemption of Christ for all things, to me, it seems that Paul’s remark can have a double meaning.

    Here’s my reasoning. The Word of God is written for all men of all ages in all circumstances of life, right? Of course. Well, we know the measure of light and understanding has been vastly different through the ages and men ultimately answer to their consciences. This is confirmed in God’s Word in several places and so much so that Paul even said “rejecting faith and a clear conscience, they’ve suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith.”

    As I’ve mentioned, the Law was our tutor. So, we see that though we are not under the Law, we, at one time, understood that we were subject to it (even though the Law was never given to anyone but the Jews) and were burdened by it, especially so if we had a sensitive conscience (and excessively demanding loved ones (who weren’t really so loving).

    Some don’t have the inclination to give this sort of thing much thought and simply accept what they perceive to be normal. These men are accountable to their conscience for what they believe, whether it’s really right or wrong. This too, is made clear in Scripture though it’s seldom discussed.

    What I’m saying is this. Every man decides for himself what is right and what is wrong and what his obligations are and to what detail he must go in fulfilling those obligations. To the simple, the Law is frequently the “standard” and most men “try to do right.” Others, with a conscience that cannot find rest cry out to God for deliverance and help, seeing only a life of torment if they don’t get more help (than many even ever consider)! These men that “hunger and thirst for righteousness” find the fullness of Christ’s redemption is obtained entirely by faith, both in the initial imputation and the eventual impartation. This is what I proclaimed to you early on. It’s not a pipe dream. It’s the promises of God that we cannot earn; they must be believed and received by faith.

    Dear brother, I even write by faith. I started with an idea and by the time I finished, I saw God. I hope you did too.

    Blessings to you.

  5. Barrie says:

    Ray, Although I agree with most of what Gary wrote, I think I understand where you are coming from. My life has really changed because I really attempt to listen to God and do as He instructs me. Do I always hit it, of course not, I too am a sinner and fall far short of the Glory of God. I can tell you that I really appreciate hearing the word of God preached as often as possible. I have been blessed with pastors that have listened to God and preached the word as He instructed them. I can understand why it becomes work sometimes because I feel that even pastors try to put God on a schedule when it comes to inspiration. I rejoice in knowing that you appreciate how preaching can be work. We tend to learn more under trials and preaching and pastors are no exception to this message. Thank you for your blog and your efforts to expand the minds of those who take the time to go to your site. God Bless you brother.

  6. As a young pastor who has struggled through some of these issues, I have to somewhat (not totally) disagree with Barrie, when you said, “even pastors try to put God on a schedule when it comes to inspiration.” The problem with that is stated succinctly by E.V. Hill in his famous sermon, “Sunday’s coming!”

    It’s not so much that pastor’s try to put God on a schedule as it is that they feel the weight of preparing a God-glorifying, textually-accurate sermon. The burden is not that it is “hard work.” Preaching is a joy for me.

    I can relate to the “burden.” But the burden for me is that I feel the weight, week in and week out, of standing before a gathering of believers and being responsible for properly and accurately and meaningfully exposing the Scriptures. The “burden” is the incredible responsibility of “rightly handling the word of truth” knowing that teachers “will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).

    Does that burden drive us to Christ? It should! Yes, Gary, we are to cast our burdens upon the Lord and take up His yoke…but that doesn’t negate the fact that we feel the burden. If your spirituality doesn’t “jibe” with reality, then you’re over-spiritualizing. I think we would both agree that Jesus felt the burden in the Garden.

  7. Julie says:

    Well, I’m not a pastor (far from it) but I’m of the firm belief that a pastor should teach the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. This is God’s letter to us and I for one would love to get into the meat of the word each week instead of getting a few verses here and there followed by one hour of a sermon that really has very little to do with God’s word but more of a lecture. You could spend a lifetime in church that way and really never learn anything beyond an alter call. Christians need meat, not milk if they are going to develop into some kind of maturity. I really think Pastors make it harder on themselves by not teaching the Bible straight up. Just my opinion.

  8. Julie says:

    And I’m not saying there aren’t preachers/pastors that don’t teach verse by verse, chapter by chapter but it would be refreshing if alot more did.

  9. Julie, you’re right on as far as verse-by-verse expositional preaching. What better for Christians than truly dig deep into God’s word! That’s what motivates my preaching! You can hear it over at http://www.rbcalexandria.net/sermons (shameless self promotion.)

    It makes it “easier” in that you don’t have to keep coming up with topics or series. But, proper study and exposition is quite time- and mental energy consuming. That’s where the “burden” can come in: it’s the burden of making sure you are being faithful to the text, not necessarily making it “sound good,” of being faithful to the text even when what the text says is not going to sit well with the congregation. Those are definitely burdens faced by pastors who take their responsibility as proclaimers of God’s Word seriously.

  10. Sharon Gamble says:

    Well of COURSE pastors grow weary. Look at all the Biblical examples of this. Elijah was so tired that the Lord had him just eat and sleep for a season (I Kings 19) God did not scold him for his weariness at all. He sent an angel who touched him and tended him. I love that story! David, in the Psalms, over and over expresses his agony and depth of sorrow and I believe these Psalms are there to encourage us that there are times when we, too, like David “the man after God’s own heart”, will feel in the pits ourselves. Then there is Paul. He says, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of our life…” 2 Corinthians 1:8b and following. Paul admonishes us in Galatians 6:9 not to become weary of well-doing because he knows at times we WILL and he wants to encourage us to keep on keeping on. Pastor Ray, may God grant you and other pastors days of JOY when preaching bursts forth like a song and may He also sustain you on the days when you are weary, speaking through you and His Word even when the burden feels heavy. It’s HIS Word, after all, and He is able to deliver truth through all his imperfect vessels. 🙂

  11. Margaret says:

    Just a brief comment re Sharon’s comment: Yes, yes and yes.

  12. 3D says:

    Ray, Who would have thought that your simple assertion “Preaching’s work” would raise such a fire storm of recrimination! Good for you, if you can maintain your characteristic equanimity through it all.

    I wonder if the comments here don’t suggest more teaching is needed on the day-to-day realities of spiritual formation? Best of luck — 3D

  13. Ray Fowler says:

    3D – I must admit, I was a little surprised by it myself. But that’s part of the fun of blogging. You get to hear all sorts of viewpoints that you never knew existed! Thanks for your words of encouragement, and I agree, we need to do a better job of preparing people for the hard realities of living the Christian life in this fallen world. Jesus himself said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) A good reminder for when the going gets tough.

  14. Gary Sellars says:

    I was notified of 3D’s remarks and having previously read the entire thread, I wondered if I was being accused of recrimination, so I read the entire thread again and concluded, “yes, it’s obviously me that is being accused because there’s no one else who it could be.”

    I refer to my first two sentences of my first comment and acknowledge that in my life I’ve frequently noticed that I don’t have the skills that many others have with words. I’m not as palatable as most. I really regret that and have tried to soften, improve, “let me words be seasoned, as it were, with salt” and have made improvements, yet I still recognize this is not a strong suit for me. I knew a woman who could really “read you the riot act” but do it so nicely, one would say “Thank you” when she was finished! (Honestly, this is true.) I’m sorry that I don’t have that skill. I wish I did; I’ve tried, but alas, this is one of the ways I fail and demonstrate the truth of my calling in 1Cor. 1:26-31.

    What I hoped, even before I started was that my exaltation of the promises of God would be seen and understood. It’s evident that I was not very successful, especially to 3D. It wasn’t my desire at all to make Ray feel rebuked or insulted or belittled but rather to be encouraged to see that his and others’ experience didn’t have to be that way. Apparently I failed. I’m sorry. I hope you can go back and read my words again and understand my desire was to point everyone to Jesus and His promises which are able to deliver us from every evil work, even discouragement. Please reread and consider them as from your dearest friend who wants only good for you and wants to encourage you and is trying to point you to Jesus and the promises of God. He is our life, our strength, our hope and we are complete in Him.

    I am certain that most believers wonder, “God, if you love me so much, why is life so hard?” I tried not so much to shed light on the “why” but mostly the “how to make it less so.” I can see how I did, but I can also see that most people didn’t get it.

    If there’s something in you that says, “Surely there’s more to a relationship with God than what I’ve seen,” then I encourage you to say to the Lord, “If there’s anything in this guy’s words that You want me to see, please enable me to see it” before you reread my words.

    I can testify that the Lord has emphasized to me the truth that I tried to share that we, like an eagle, can rise through the storm and glide above it, and walk in peace and rest, so that even though the storm is occurring, we’re not bothered by it. The way to do that is by abiding in His Word (which takes time). I referenced it but that Scripture is so often misquoted and misrepresented, that I suspect that perhaps none of you saw the truth that is represented there. Is this recrimination or rather exhortation and encouragement to “look to Jesus”? It’s the latter that I intended and still intend.

    Please consider the Master’s words, “If you ABIDE in my Word, THEN you are TRULY My disciples and you SHALL know the truth and the truth SHALL MAKE you free.” The fact that THE LORD SAID FREEDOM WAS CONDITIONAL, NOT on the new birth, but on ABIDING IN HIS WORD, says a phenomenal amount to me and the Lord has personally reminded me of this Scripture many times over the years and has specifically spoken it to me in times of crisis. If it’s conditional, as He clearly says it is, then allow me to state the obverse:

    If you don’t abide in the Word of God, you won’t be free, no matter how much you cry, pray, want to, try hard, study and/or do your best. Wanting it won’t get it! The new birth didn’t give it to you; the new birth gave you a new nature and is parallel to the natural birth of a new child. Everything possible is YET future and NOT GUARANTEED and depends on the circumstances in life, just like your spiritual future in this life depends of the circumstances of life and that’s where your faith comes in. Just like a child can get an arm cut off at some point in the future, you *might* get spiritually maimed and never recover.

    Abiding in the Word is the way to get it. But please don’t consider “abiding” to be work or something that you “have” to do. Attitude is everything. The Lover of your soul doesn’t want your attention out of duty but out of love and gratitude. He’s a lover. Approach the Bible as a love letter and not as a textbook. Washing ourselves with the Word should be pleasure and not a chore, or a job or work. This is why pastors sometimes struggle. They’ve left their first love. Love is the first commandment. That’s not to condemn; just to tell the facts.

    The pastor who feels anxious in approaching the Word, feeling pressured to “get a word” for a sermon, has already fallen into the trap of the devil. He needs to recognize that and shake it off and RECEIVE from the Lord the words of our Leader, “Fear not, little flock. It is the Father’s GOOD PLEASURE to GIVE you the kingdom” and realize what I unfortunately didn’t get across well, that his personal time with the Lord should be considered just that — feeding time, worship time, receiving time, loving time. Then, when it’s time to “give out,” the Lord will be there to do His work. There are no “prepared messages” in the New Testament. If I’m wrong, please point it out to me. Did Peter stand up on the day of Pentecost and say, “Gee folks, this is a very important situation and quite a surprise. I had no idea things were going to occur like this. Would you all come back this evening so that I can have some time to prepare a message?”

    Feed on the Lord’s goodness; feed on His Word, and trust Him to flow to the congregation from what He’s given you. Pulpit ministry should be by the spirit, since the Lord is the Lord of the Church, and not from the mind of man. A preacher isn’t qualified or capable of knowing the deep needs of his people; he MUST rely on the Lord and not his own understanding. Plus, if you believe the New Testament, the members also have something to contribute and Paul gives instructions about this. Does your church allow the manifestations of the Holy Spirit? Do the members of your church “hath a psalm, a teaching, a tongue, a revelation, an interpretation.” Those things come by the spirit, not the will or mind of man and the pastor must know how to flow in the spirit, not in his understanding and submit to the Lord of the Church. A pastor struggling with “getting a message” is taking entirely too much upon himself and not letting the Lord move in his heart, life and church the way the Lord wants. And yielding to the Lord is done by believing His Word, His promises. I’m not looking to find fault with anyone, just to share the fact that goodness of God to His people is so great, no pastor should be under that burden. You won’t find it in the New Testament. Again, please point to the Scripture that shows me I’m wrong. This should have been established in his heart before he first got behind a pulpit. A preacher should not concern himself with what his church needs — he’s not qualified to do that! All he needs to do is love the Lord, hear the Lord, and obey the Lord. When David Cho was asked the secret to his success, he laughed and said simply, “I pray and I obey” and laughed again. When the pastor of million people gives that answer, should we think he’s lying? Is it that simple? Please remember that the analogy of the church is to sheep. We take too much on ourselves in pride and dismiss the richness of relationship we could have if we would just trust God ten times more than we do.

    Please don’t misunderstand. If the pastor needs to meet a need in his church, the Lord can and will tell him. I’m talking about the “how,” well-expressed by a pastor I heard over three decades ago with these words: “I always make it hard on God and easy on myself.”

    You see, that man learned a great lesson of faith. It’s God’s Church. We’re the under shepherds. “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you.” “But I would have you without carefulness.” 1Cor7:32a. That word “without carefulness” is G275 amerimnos. It means “free from care.” The pressure a pastor feels to produce or perform is NOT from God but from our enemy. Jesus said, “as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me.” These problems shouldn’t be regarded as “part of the ministry” but as “a lie from the devil.” John 15 When He said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” He either meant it or He’s a liar… and He’s not a liar.

    This is why I wrote in the first place. To say, “Trust God… don’t listen to the devil… Jesus is our peace and our help.” He doesn’t want us bearing burdens. I heard Charles Simpson say decades ago, “The Lord said to me one day, ‘Charles, I’m looking for a bride, not a haggard housewife.'” When I heard that, I believed that God really did say that to him and it confirmed the things God had, up until then and since then said to me and that’s what I wanted to communicate here. We have a better covenant, based on better promises. MOST of our “burdens” are self-inflicted and nothing more than unbelief in the promises of God. Now you can take that as recrimination and a personal attack or you can take it for what it really is and RECEIVE it by faith — GOOD NEWS!

    Please remember the other Scripture I referenced: Romans 14:23b, “… whatever is not of faith is sin.” If you’ll meditate on that verse long enough, then you’ll surely see that every thought, every decision and every meditation of the heart is to be done in faith. If that’s Greek to you, then you don’t have a good working grasp of what faith is.

    Faith for the new birth is just the beginning of a walk of faith; it’s not an end all. “I got it all when I got saved” is about the stupidest thing a person can say, not because it’s completely wrong — there are some aspects of truth in the statement. The problem is that it’s akin to this situation: “Well, we’ve got a new baby.” “Oh, where is he?” “I guess he’s at the hospital; we left him there. He’s born now; everything’s OK.”
    Is there anyone in the world that stupid? I think not. Yet some people regard the new birth as “life” and fail to recognize it’s only the beginning. Am I contradicting myself? What about “taking too much upon ourselves”?

    FAITH IS THE KEY. Not natural, carnal, mental assessment but DIVING into the Word of God with all our hearts and HEARING GOD TELL US what to think and how to think about it! Taking every issue about which we have any care whatsoever and giving it to God and believing that He is/has the answer and will provide for us in every way that we need!

    This isn’t recrimination, friends — it’s wonderful, delightful, delicious truth that will bless your socks off if you’ll believe and receive it!

    Am I suggesting that we won’t have trouble? No, I’m suggesting that we turn from looking at the trouble and center our focus on our Lord and His promises and examine where our faith really is to see if and how we can use our faith to get out of the trouble.
    Sometimes we can get out and sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we, by faith, can see improvements in the trouble and sometimes we can get relief or help in the trouble. God leads us by faith and told us plainly, “Whatsoever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive it and you shall have it.” The Word also says that He is the author and finisher of our faith. Therefore, if there is a way out of the problem or a better way through the problem than what we see, He will lead us by faith. Our faith has a voice just like God, the devil, our friends and our enemies all have voices. We’re to learn, by faith, which voices to hear (meaning to respond) and which to “cast down.” 2Cor. 10:5

  15. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Gary – Thanks for checking back in. Sorry if you felt picked on in my exchange with 3D, but you do come across pretty strong at times. (For example, in your comment above when you say things like, “I suspect that perhaps none of you saw the truth that is represented there.”)

    Thank you for sharing that this is a point of struggle for you. That should help people seek to interpret your statements in the best light. I believe that your intentions are good. You just need to ask the Lord to temper that zeal with some wisdom and grace, and maybe try to shorten your comments a bit. As someone once said, when your comments start getting longer than the blog posts, it may be time to start your own blog! 🙂

    Thanks again for visiting the blog and for taking the time to comment.

    All the best,
    Ray

  16. David Webb says:

    I Love the sharing I see and some very good points too. I find that as I get up in front of people, tears fill my eyes as I not only share my testimony but give God the glory and show through his Word his Redeeming grace. Is this normal for new ministers/preachers? I’m also on a journey to move a mountain and I’m constantly seeking how to grow one’s faith so that may be possible.I examine all of the disciples who performed miracles and asked myself,”Why don’t we see that in this day and age?”

  17. Ray Fowler says:

    David – I have been in ministry for twenty-four years, and I am still full of joy and awe at the amazing privilege of sharing God’s Word. I don’t quite get tears in my eyes, but God probably just made my tear ducts different from yours. So, I hope what you are describing is normal for all preachers young and old, even if they might express the emotions in different ways.

  18. oneconcerned says:

    I came across this website after typing in “tired of preaching.” I got something from the input (blogs) from all of those who had comments. And I appreciated Ray Fowler’s blog and was especially appreciative of Gary Sellars.
    Yes, I am a preacher. And yes, I’ve been guilty of putting the burden of preaching on me…but after reading the blogs on this site pertaining to being “tired of preaching,” and especially taking note of Gary Sellars’ blog about relying on God to do the work, I was reminded of the fact that the less I write down before a sermon, the more God blesses me to deliver HIS Word. May the Lord continue to bless Gary with such insight and wisdom, and may the Lord lead many more ministers to this site to be blessed as I was.

  19. David Webb says:

    Greetings Brothers and Sisters, Through a course I’m taking at Liberty University, The topic on one of our discussion boards was Matthew 24:43-25:30. Preparedness and what we do with our God given Gifts. This topic convicted me on my fear that I do have about standing up and preaching in front of people. That I’m not doing God’s will well enough. I don’t want to be one of the recipients that receives the “I knew you not” statement. With what I read from those of you already ministering or preaching, I see the burden. What would happen if we banded together and each did a segment on video? Say 10 minutes each? In order to breathe some new life into our ministries and reach more people for Christ. Shouldn’t we be sharing in this burden and edifying and lifting one another up with the Spirit guiding us to overcome this issue? If anyone is interested, I can be reached at dwebb28@yahoo.com God Bless.

  20. Ray Fowler says:

    oneconcerned and David Webb – Thanks for sharing!

  21. Ministers must learn to encourage themselves as David did while seving the flock for the lord .
    As a former minister of miinisters [president g.m.a cameroon], i noticed that the is more expected from the minister than meets the eye.
    miniter is often
    pastor
    evangelist
    healer
    leader
    So much to do, but so little of it is seen and therefore appreciated , let your souls not be castdown , the lord is your strength and rewarder.
    You are not called to be successful ministering but faithful undershepherds .
    DR THOMPSON AKWO NTUBA

  22. Ray Fowler says:

    Dr. Thompson – Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement to pastors.

  23. Henrietta says:

    I am a member of the former Pastor Gary Sellars congregation. I’m not sure if you know, but he went home to be with the Lord in late 2010 after an extensive bout with cancer. We loved and miss him dearly. Each day we still see the manifestation of Gods blessing that are being delivered from Rev. Sellars vision. May God continue to bless you all.

  24. Ray Fowler says:

    Henrietta – Thank you for sharing with us about Pastor Gary. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I trust that God will sustain Gary’s family and your church during this time of loss. Blessings in Christ, Ray

  25. Yvette says:

    I may be taking this out of context, but what did Jesus mean when he stated, “my yoke is easy and my burdens light?” I take that to mean life and service (worship essentially)to God for o one another . Did God really call men to stand behind a pulpit every Sunday? isn’t ministry suppose to be interactive (sharing, encouraging one another in a simple manner and setting)? As believers under the new Covenant we are all priests. The Church system today resembles more of the Mosaic/ Aaronic/ Levitical priesthood. This is an old system torn away at the cross of Calvary; what about the “rest” we are to enter into spoken of in Hebrews 4:9? I am afraid we have followed centuries old tradition, believing there to be some sort of mandate from God to set themselves up as the man or woman of the hour to listen to on Sunday’s.No wonder they are tired.

  26. Hello again,
    With what I stated in my last post I couldn’t help but come back and elaborate just a little bit more. Questions that need answers are “why when Jesus Christ is available 24/7 are our churches only available a few hours per week?” Seems that if we are tired of preaching and following a system that is backwards; then we should realign with the ways of Christ. Wouldn’t we be better off if our churches were open 24/7 to care for those that Christ instructed us to care for. Who really dares to do a true and fulfilling ministry? To be burnout and tired is God calling you to mend your ways and change those ways. Church doors only open a time or two per week? What is wrong with that picture? In this day and age presently; according to Acts Chapter 2 “we are to be of one accord”, sharing so that none are without!” We are not to be a host of divided denominational factions that are judgmental, condemning, or divided. But yet sadly we are; man’s earthly principles reign verses the divine spiritual path that was demonstrated by the first century church of those Disciples/Apostles and most importantly Jesus Christ. When we immerse ourself in His Ways, we won’t have much time to be tired or burnt out. When we start to realize that the way we have defined such things as the Church is incorrect and put the divine spiritual principles of Jesus Christ back into place where they ought to be then we can see a refreshing, redeeming quality gift of Grace and Mercy. I don’t know about all of you, but when was the last time you witnessed the Holy Spirit at work as in the days of the Apostles and Jesus Christ? I want my church to be open 24/7, I want to meet the needs as Christ would have me meet those needs. The true church is Jesus Christ and we are all churches that are apart of His Body, why then would we limit such a gift. Isn’t it time we awake out of the slumber and start embracing those in society around us and get on with doing what the Lord requires of us?
    God Bless,
    Minister David Webb

  27. Gary Sellars says:

    Henrietta was speaking of another Gary Sellars. It was not I.

    I will never have cancer. “Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.” Matt 8:17, fulfilled from the original prophecy in Is. 53:4 and later confirmed again by Peter in 1Pet 2:24.

    Let each fact be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Deut 19:15

    This is the foundational truth for establishing doctrine, mentioned twice in the OT and referenced four times in the NT.

    We have a “better covenant based on better promises” and “by (Jesus’) stripes we are healed.” 1Pet 2:24, and if the Lord healed “all your diseases” (Ps 103:3) in the OT under a lesser covenant, then surely we can put our faith in the promises of God today.

    I didn’t address Henrietta’s remark earlier because this is the first time I’ve been back to the blog since she made her comment.

    Kenneth Hagin used to say the promises of God “don’t fall on you like ripe cherries off a tree.” It is our responsibility to read AND believe the promises of God (For how many soever be the promises of God, in him is the yea: wherefore also through him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us 2Cor 1:20 ASV). Jesus said VERY PLAINLY, “as the Father has sent Me, so send I you.” Unfortunately, Christians are negligent in their meditation and appreciation and faith in, the promises of God. This is the CRUX of “faith, peace and power” or “doubt, worry and fear.” Those who neglect meditating in the Word (not “for a message” but as a baby at his mother’s breast) don’t get the spiritual food they need.

    Ray said that I was “strong.” It’s true, but so was Jesus when He referred to His own disciples as “you of little faith.” He said this five times to them and “little faith” is a compound word meaning “puny faith.” It wasn’t an affectionate term of endearment. It was reproof. We should take notice and determine, by the grace of God, to not be like them, since we have more light than they did (remember they were not yet born again and because of that, had not yet received the Holy Ghost). Remember also, in this same state, Peter, just because he delighted as a child in the supernatural, walked on water–the only disciple who did it. There was NOTHING that kept the others from saying, “I want to so that too, Lord!

    God loves us, and that love should provoke us INTO His Word to “listen at His feet,” not give us a false sense of security so that we spend an inordinate amount of time in the ways of the world. We’re at war and our enemy wants us dead. We don’t need to fear but the only way we’re going to get more light, revelation, wisdom, understanding and grace in through the true knowledge of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light and all that we need is IN HIS WORD.

    Unfortunately (this is hard) very few pastors are going to tell you how to be strong and walk in victory because they don’t do it themselves. They walk in unbelief and powerlessness and are frankly, unqualified to show you how to do what they’re not doing. Let me tell it to you straight–if your pastor goes to the doctor when he gets sick, you should ask the Lord to lead you to a better church, where the pastor teaches his people to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. We have no business being sick when Jesus took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.

    Friend, you don’t walk in God’s grace without a fight, but when you decide that God is trustworthy and the promise is yours, you can stand up to the lies of the enemy and resist him, strong in faith.

    Part of the problem with so many people’s faith is that they DON’T GIVE THE TIME to meditating on what God reveals is His perspective and HOW MUCH He values faith. This is the God of ALL CREATION, who actually BECAME A MAN for the express purpose of DYING FOR US to pay the penalty of our sin and provide for us “EVERYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO LIFE AND GODLINESS.” 2Pet 1:3 (Read that again and ask yourself what “everything” means.)

    The Creator of the Universe (Col 1:16) will now FOREVER BE A MAN! What more can He do to prove that His love for us is so great that any price was worth paying to meet OUR EVERY NEED?

    With this great Creator saying, “I took a beating on My back for your healing,” it’s an INSULT to Him to REFUSE to believe it.

    God has said VERY CLEARLY, “Without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD, for he who comes to God MUST BELIEVE that He is AND that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.” (“Diligently seek” is also a compound word that needs those two words to communicate it.)

    Those who love this world won’t spend the time meditating on the Word to get the promises of God firmly established in their hearts and don’t appreciate my “getting in their business…telling them what to believe.” I’m just telling you what the Word plainly tells us.

    Remember the parable of the wheat and tares. “An enemy has done this!” Done what? Put phony Christians in our midst to deceive us into a lukewarm, religious “faith” “walk” that’s ONLY looking for “pie in the sky by-and-by instead of demonstrating our faith through our works, which, according to Jesus’ own words (Mk 16:17-18) includes signs, wonders and miracles.

    As Andrew Wommack says, “If your life isn’t supernatural, it’s superficial.” Is that strong? Yes, hallelujah(!), but it’s to stir you up to “be strong and do exploits” as the Lord revealed to Daniel that THIS IS OUR PORTION! As only two of the spies said, “We are well able” (Num 13:30) and “They will be bread for us” (Num 14:9) (Remember the consequences of the anger of God. That generation {except Joshua and Caleb} all died in the wilderness, not seeing the fulfillment of the promises of God. NOW THAT’S STRONG!) … and the author of that decision was GOD! Did not the Lord say, “The things I do shall you do also and greater things than these shall you do because I go to the Father”? Is He a liar or is He THE TRUTH? Should we fear Him enough to desire and believe what He wants us to desire and believe?

    We are the Lord’s representatives on earth. As Derek Price said, “one miracle is worth a thousand sermons.” Let’s quit excusing unbelief and powerlessness and seek God to represent Him with more power and greater works than did the early disciples because the Word of God testifies that the “latter glory of the house will be greater than the former.” Haggai 2:9

    Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. If you want to do miracles in the name of Jesus, feed your faith on the Word of God and use your imagination. Picture yourself walking in the grace and power of God and starting hoping, that when the time comes, your faith will work.

    (Sorry Ray, for another long post)

  28. Gary Sellars says:

    Remember, David, that we are the Church; the building isn’t the Church–it’s just a building. In fact, there isn’t even any authorization to build buildings for the Church.

    I’m not saying it’s wrong; I’m just saying we should “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” Placing any responsibility on how we handle buildings is not from Scripture; it’s just an opinion.

    The Church is an organism, not an organization. Jesus is the Head; we are the body.

  29. Hi Gary,
    I agree with you wholeheartedly on the concept of the church, however it just seems like a waste that those physical doors remain closed 90% of the time. My partial cabin rests on five acres and only part of the foundation is built on top of a hill. I think it would better serve as a homeless shelter and a food ministry with services being held outside. Ministry upon ministry could be built Mon-Sat, but nobody seems to have the courage or conviction to do so. I know of one church in Bath, NY that is open 3 maybe 4 days out of the week and runs a coffee shop to go with the services and bible studies and functions.

  30. Gary Sellars says:

    “…it just seems like a waste that those physical doors remain closed 90% of the time.”

    I can appreciate that. Your emphasis suggests that perhaps God has a plan for you to implement. Perhaps you should pray in tongues quite a bit about it and ask the Lord to show you if He’s got a plan and what it is. 🙂

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