“During the darkest days of my ministry, I struggled to see my way to the pulpit. I did not feel like studying, praying, or preaching. I believe this was the Enemy’s primary strategy. Waves rise from the pews to eject the preacher from the pulpit. The faithful preacher must hold the stern and preach through the storm.”
I drove to my pastor’s office to tell him I was going to resign my church. He asked what did I plan to do next. I did not have a plan. I told him I may become a talk-show host. It didn’t matter. I just wanted out! I desired to get married, finish my education, and move on with my life and ministry. I had wasted enough of my youth in congregational conflict.
My pastor told me he knew what the problem was. I just wanted to get up to preach one Sunday in peace. He warned me, however, that trouble would find me wherever I preached the Bible and lifted the name of Jesus. He encouraged me to stay put, keep preaching, and do not be weary in well doing.
I heeded my pastor’s counsel. And I am glad that I did not quit, even though the conflict in my church continued for several more years. I wouldn’t trade anything for what God taught me as I preached under pressure.
On the other side of leadership challenges over the years, I believe that you have not really learned to preach until you preach through a storm. Unending sunshine creates shallow pulpits. Preaching through a storm anchors the pulpit to the tried and proven word of God.
How do you faithfully preach under the pressure that arises against your leadership, ministry, or pulpit?
Preach the Word. During the darkest days of my ministry, I struggled to see my way to the pulpit. I did not feel like studying, praying, or preaching. I believe this was the Enemy’s primary strategy. Waves rise from the pews to eject the preacher from the pulpit. The faithful preacher must hold the stern and preach through the storm. But avoid preaching to or about the storm, unless it is necessary. Preach the word to lead the congregation forward. Preaching through a storm introduced me to consecutive exposition. Series preaching helped me respond to the Holy Spirit’s leadership, rather than reacting to my opponents’ shenanigans.
Pray without ceasing. The disciples preached and performed wonders. Yet they asked the Lord to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). The disciples’ request is a dangerous request. The Lord does not teach us to pray in a classroom. He teaches us to pray on a battlefield. In the classroom, you may learn the truth about prayer. But it is on the battlefield that you learn the power of prayer. Ministerial battles to the pastor-soldier the spiritual dependence needed for effective prayer. So pray when you feel like it. Pray when you don’t feel like. And pray until you feel like it.