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5 Lifetime Lessons from My First Year of Preaching

Understanding the shift in perspective and identity as the lead pastor.

5 Lifetime Lessons from My First Year of Preaching

When I was an assistant pastor in Washington D.C., my mentor and boss Dan Claire apprenticed me in the ministry of preaching. I was giving one sermon per month, which meant I was supporting but not carrying the preaching of the church. I loved the process of crafting sermons from different genres of Scripture, receiving feedback along the way about exegesis, delivery, and application. The semi-regular schedule allowed me to feel the intensity and responsibility of preaching without becoming a crushing burden.

After three years, God called me to plant and lead a new church in Chicago. On Launch Sunday, I went from simply delivering individual sermons to shouldering the preaching ministry. Adjusting to this new reality was a process! All of a sudden, there were new responsibilities beyond mere sermon development that I had to learn on the fly. The more intentionally I embraced them, the greater the impact of the preaching ministry. These five responsibilities have been particularly crucial: ...

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Displaying 1–5 of 9 comments


December 29, 2014  1:06pm

Incredible insights. So encouraging and inspiringto see you continuing to grow! Peace to you friend.

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Carlos Powell

December 23, 2014  12:39pm

Great article, so befitting for where I am as a Pastor for two years plus now. I felt every demand and the weight of preparation to lead those God has assigned for me to lead-feed. This is good for me as I presently retreat to prepare, pray and perceive where God will lead us in the year 2015. Thanks.

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December 23, 2014  12:08pm

Great reflections and advice on the pouring out of our lives in preaching. Thank you!

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December 22, 2014  11:18pm

Maybe the title has changed since I read it but ending with "my first year of preaching" makes it clear that these are lessons he intends to keep for a lifetime, not lessons that he learned in a lifetime. Although now I'm the one splitting hairs.

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Fred Huffman

December 22, 2014  4:05pm

I really like this article and am appreciative to Aaron for sharing his insights in his first year of ministry. All are good. I especially liked the following: "Aaron, the best way to improve your preaching is to get up there and preach when you're tired, preach when you don't want to show up, and preach when you don't feel prepared." Great advice. Every job requires that we do it regardless of how we feel. Another: "A sermon series allows for the church to go through a long journey, creating unity and shared experience along the way." It also allows the exploration of deep subjects in a world where depth is not always important. Regarding humility, often older pastors need to be reminded that they have not arrived. Life is a journey and often the excitement of those fresh into ministry is enlivening, lifting us from RUT. If we claim that those younger have nothing to say to us, we lack some humility. I am 61 & still appreciate youthful excitement THX Aaron

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