Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Six questions for preachers to ask themselves during Lent

We're already a few weeks into Lent, the 40 day season of preparation before Easter. I've been pondering what Lent means for me as a preacher. I don't mean for my preaching, but rather, for me as a person who also preaches. What do the themes of humility, temptation, confession, repentance, forgiveness, suffering and crucifixion have to teach me as a preacher? If I'm honest, more than I probably care to learn.
  • Humility: Which is more essential to your understanding of self your preaching or your relationship with Jesus?
  • Temptation: Which bothers you more, the presence of sin in your life or preaching a bad sermon?
  • Confession: When was the last time you were 100% honest with another person about the sin in your life?
  • Repentance: What is a practical step you could take to turn towards Christ in your day to day life? What is keeping you from taking that step?
  • Forgiveness: When was the last time you were a recipient of the proclamation of God's forgiveness and not simply the one who made the proclamation? 
  • Suffering/Crucifixion: In light of the fact that you proclaim the gospel of the One who was crucified, how do you define a successful sermon, a successful ministry, a successful career as a minister?


  1. Ouch. The questions that really matter that as a preacher I like to hide away and not really face. Always the temptation remains to put on the shell of preacher and act like things are squared awsy and that I know what I need to know and live like I want to live. But it is wearisome to wear that shell, and disgusting because it is not me. At times I feel like a chicken trying to come out of my shell and into the world. Struggling to break through the veneer of preacher and simply being Kevin. The sinner who is so shrouded in grace that it mystifies him. The limited one who catches glimpses of the limitless one all around him at the corner of his eye. The reluctant prophet who realizes more with each proclaimation that he is simply telling the mercy which he lives in. The small man who needs to constantly be held in the arms of one so much bigger than he is. The one who desires to be crucified with Christ and yet who fights that at the same time. Lent reminds me that I'm real, it reminds me that I' imperfect, it reminds me that my sanctification is not done but is what holds me together. It makes me laugh that God uses me, and to find joy in the fact that he does so even when I falter.

  2. Well said, Kevin. It is amazing God uses any of us.