My Key Learning Points in Preaching for the First Time

Haven’t been writing for a while… I always tell people that I hate writing, and yes I really don’t like to write because I can’t seem to write very well, but I do have a thing for blogging. Maybe because this is my own space and I have the freedom to write about anything and everything that my heart desires.

“Lord, what do you want me to write about?” I caught myself asking this question as I stared at my computer screen. I was eager to write a post but I had no idea what to write. Too many things have happened the past 3-4 months, and when I asked the Lord what to write, He brought to mind my first preaching experiences in my youth ministry. So here goes…

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The first time I ever preached was in Sri Lanka. I could still remember vividly the sermon I preached, and the feeling of sharing the word of God to the crowd. Initially I was nervous, but as I started speaking, I found myself enjoying it and in fact it was right after I finished preaching the sermon that I felt the Lord say this is what He will lead me to do in the future. At that point, I didn’t really know what God meant – all I knew in my 19-year-old understanding was I’m going to serve God with my life.

Fast-forward to about 6 years later, with much difficulty yet by the grace of God, I am finally in the place where God had been preparing me for – R-AGE, my very own church‘s youth ministry.

I have preached in other countries, taught in children’s church, taught in youth cell groups, but never preached to a youth group in Singapore before. The first time I preached on home ground was on the 23 April 2016. I felt so stressed during the time leading up to that day, especially the few days before that day. I was stressed for the following reasons:

  1. That I couldn’t deliver the Word of God accurately to the young people
  2. That I couldn’t make the Word of God relevant for the young people
  3. That I couldn’t hear God properly, resulting in sharing an untimely message to the young people
  4. That I couldn’t articulate the thoughts properly to the young people

Even thought I surrendered these fears to God before I went up to preach, it wasn’t until recently after I preach my second sermon to the younger youths, the pre-teens, that God showed me a revelation of serving Him in this area of preaching.

  1. Preaching is not about how good a speaker I am, but how great a God He is.
  2. Focus on preaching the Word of God accurately and precisely, not on persuading the congregation with flowery words.
  3. The response of the congregation does not determine whether I have done a good job because what matters to God is my obedience in delivering His word and delivering it accurately.

To sum up, God wants our obedience when we serve Him (not only in the area of preaching). And when we have the privilege of sharing His word, to share it accurately.

what is HOPE?

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Took a nap just now and the first word that popped up in my head when I woke up was ‘Hope’. What hope? Why hope? What exactly is hope? Hope in what? I wanted a biblical view of what hope is and what we should hope in, so I took my phone and searched for ‘hope’ (pun intended. haha) in the bible app. 

Many verses came out, so I slowly scrolled down to get the gist of as many verses as I could. As I read those verses, I started to reflect on what/where/whom have I been placing my hope in…

When we say we hope for something or place our hope in something, I suppose that means that in one way or another, we are kinda expecting something to happen. When something or somebody gives us hope, when we start believing in this hope given us, I’d believe that that’s when a person starts to feel alive. When he/she has hope. Motivation for today comes when we have a hope in tomorrow. And so as I continued to read the verses, I started to realise that in order to finish running this race well, in order to be motivated everyday, we need to have a hope that is constant – which means it never changes even when everything else changes. 

The bible says to ‘hope in God’, ‘hope in his word’, and ‘hope in his steadfast love’. Everything in life changes; only God doesn’t. It’s been a difficult phase of life, I want to learn to place my hope fully in God and His Word again.