I often have moments of spontaneous prayer. There are times when a prayer bubbles up and reveals something in my heart. This happened to me while I was doing something in my new reality: preparing to preach at the church my husband and I pastor.
When we started the church in January, Pastor Hubby and I decided that if we both were on the preaching rotation, it would decrease the chances of burnout. Besides, church planting is definitely on the top my list of the most heart stirring, mentally taxing and labor-intensive things I’ve done in my life. The more help the better.
After a few months, I fell into a routine of sorts. Not that preparing sermons is routine, but I found myself following a process. I would clean whatever room I was going to prepare my sermon in. I’d complete all my other tasks that might distract my thoughts. And I would pray.
During a particular preparation session, I found myself thinking about people who have preached for years and have an extremely business-like approach. They didn’t treat preparing to preach as the special work it is. Their approach to ministering to God’s people was a task, not sacred vocation.
And that’s when the prayer floated up to my thought: Lord, I never want to feel like ministry is a job or obligation. There is a sense of joy that comes from knowing God wants to encourage and strengthen people through my sermons. Since I preach God’s holy word, there should be a sense of holiness about my preparations. Pastors should approach ministry different than a job. It’s not just this thing that we do. It’s a sacred vocation.