Close this search box.

Don’t be a Preacher

Don’t be a preacher…

…if you are thin-skinned. It’s a given that people will take shots at your sermons, even more so, they will take shots at you. Get tough or get gone.

…if you are lazy. Preaching is work. No matter how gifted you are, studying and preparing well should regularly take hours out of your week.

…if you are cowardly. The “whole counsel of God” has parts which will challenge and provoke even the godliest of your congregation. Be ready to “gird up your loins.”

…if you are prayerless. The worst sermons are preached by men who confidently but independently alight upon the pulpit. Only God can bring life to dead men’s bones.

…if you are insecure. Preaching doesn’t need to be about you, but unfortunately it will be if your identity is based on your performance in the pulpit. Let preaching be about God’s glory, not yours.

…if you are loveless. Anyone can preach at people, but loving people leads us to preach to people. How we say something really does matter. Loving people will motivate you to practice this well.

What would you add to this list?

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

14 thoughts on “Don’t be a Preacher”

  1. ….if you can’t lead. it’s not enough to have knowledge and be able to speak from a stage you must lead. if you don’t know how – learn, if you’re not good at it – find a mentor, if you still can’t swing it find another job, a preacher leads.

  2. …if you aren’t a discipler. Anyone can repeat platitudes, but it takes a real disciple-maker to demonstrate the life they encourage others to live. God can use Balaam’s donkey, but shouldn’t we aspire to be more than just another ass getting in the way of the harvest?

  3. …if you’re not a people person. fisherman have to deal with fish. sheppards have to deal with sheep. preachers have to deal with people. if you don’t know how to be polite to strangers or loving to people that annoy you, you’re in the wrong place.

  4. ….if you can’t manage your own life in a biblically acceptable manner. no matter how passionately you speak or how correctly you teach your credibility is based on your personal life. if you have habits that could be identified by a sunday school lesson you need to quit until you’ve mastered the basics..

  5. …if you do not allow others to lead. Being a pastor is about equipping people for ministry, which means allowing them to lead different ministries. If you let someone lead a ministry but perform tasks behind their backs, then you are not allowing to lead their ministries. Yes, supervise, but let them make mistakes and lead others to Jesus.

  6. …if you are not called. Many a man has considered the career without considering the cost. If one is called, they will be equipped. If it’s just a career, it’s too easy to quit.

  7. Just have a servants heart. Jesus lead by serving. Who cares what i have and don’t have. Last time I checked you don’t get to choose if you want to be a preach God tells you that you are going to be one. Just be obedient and God will take care of the rest.

  8. If you are not truly humble do not become a preacher. I can no longer listen to anyone who does not honestly admit to the struggles in their Christian life. I’ve heard all the proud, angry spiritual supervisors I’m ever going to listen to in life.

  9. …if you are inauthentic. Your ability to lead people to put their trust in God rather than you depends on your willingness to expose your weaknesses and not manage your own reputation and self-image. Trust God to protect you and lead people to Jesus – who is also your savior and redeemer.

  10. If you think you have to posess all of the afforementioned. Being a preacher is a process which can take a lifetime. Having been a preacher, if I was looking at all the supposed qualifications all over again, I’d run. I see evidences of qualifications which smack a little bit of the corporate culture rather than the kingdom. I mean no disrespect to others who have commented, but folks, we have to encourage people in the desire the office of an elder and not put alot of roadblocks in front of them. It’s all about God and not about all that we are. God makes preachers his way and in his time and according to his criteria. Let’s be careful here, friends.

  11. I think instead of say don’t be a preacher, we all should devote our lives to pleasing God and preach his word. Last time I checked God has called us all to teach all nations. So it seems like we all need to be doing some preaching. I think we complain to much as Christians. We need a little less talk and a lot more action.

  12. … if when you read through the Pentateuch you identify with Moses.
    … if you are the hero of every story you tell.
    … if you can’t define the word “joy” positively.
    … if you think gossip is “anything unflattering or unpleasant.”
    … if you’re single.
    … if your wife hasn’t been called to be a pastor’s wife.
    … if you can’t tell the difference between a preacher and a pastor.
    … if you think a preacher’s job is “declaring the Word.”
    … if you think preaching is a career.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *