A pastor will typically spend hours studying over a text to preach it on a Sunday morning. He wrestles through the difficult parts of the text. There is much sweat and labor that goes into preparing a message. Often times God will preach the sermon to our own hearts before we preach it to others.
I think the best sermons that I have preached have been the ones that have rocked my heart and soul before I even stand in the pulpit. When I feel the weight of a text and see the beauty of the gospel therein it causes me to be very passionate about the sermon I am getting ready to preach. I want others to have the same excitement for Jesus that this text/sermon has brought to my own heart. But if I’m not careful I can come across like this guy:
You don’t have to watch the whole thing to get the picture. Often times I think we preachers can come across this way. We are so amped up about the text that has sparked our hearts that we do not give time for our hearers to feel the weight of the text.
If you start out like this you’ll lose them. Just like in Mario Kart you can’t floor it out the gate. If you do you’ll end up burning rubber, creating a lot of smoke, and finding yourself distanced from the people you are trying to lead.
So, pace yourself. Allow your hearers to really feel the weight of the text themselves. Be patient. Heed these words by Zack Eswine:
…the problem is that the people have not had the preparation time given the preacher. They do not yet see the truth that has ignited the preacher’s grand style, so they wonder what has the preacher so worked up. but if the preacher will somewhat restrain while instructing so that all may see the light of the truth clearly, then when illustrating, the mixture of affection and explanation builds…Prophetic emotion describes what springs from a biblical truth rather than from the preacher’s energy, nervousness, or preferences. Truth unfelt and truth overfelt betrays its meaning. (Eswine, Preaching to a Post-Everything World, 129 emphasis mine)