Preachers seem to live Sunday to Sunday. Our lives are defined by those times when God’s people gather and we proclaim to them the riches of Christ Jesus.
I have humorously told my family for years on Saturday nights late in the evening, “I’m about to get my game face on.” But there is a sense in which I feel like an athlete getting ready to compete, or like a solider preparing for battle. Maybe those aren’t the best metaphors but somehow they resonate within me.
HOWEVER…as a preacher of the gospel, I am not defined by any single day but rather all of my days in which I discharge my stewardship as a herald of the truth.
Each day takes on even greater importance when I embrace the call to make continual progress in my preaching. This is what Paul enjoined Timothy to do in 1 Timothy 4:15 with these words:
Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.
The things referred to were listed a few verses earlier: public reading of Scripture, exhortation, and teaching (1 Timothy 4:13). In other words, Paul had in mind Timothy’s ministry of preaching and teaching, which was at the heart of his pastoral ministry.
The practice of these things, the immersion of one’s self in them, and the subsequent progress and growth–it’s not just something one day a week. Rather, it is something we do everyday. That’s why I am maintaining that preachers are defined by every day, not just Sundays.
For this reason, I invite you to join me in the Progress Project, an on-going pursuit of improvement in one’s preaching. Let’s ask ourselves this question everyday: “What can I do today to get better in my preaching?” And at the end of everyday, let’s ask ourselves: “What did I do to improve my ability to study, understand, and share the truth of Scripture to God’s people each week?”