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Missionary Mistakes – Part VII

More than once have we seen God do a miraculous work on a Sunday morning service and then come back on Sunday night only to feel that the message was a “flop”. It hurts to say, but I have bombed my share of messages. Not only do I believe it is a sin to take the worlds most wonderful Book and make it dry, but I also believe it is the messenger’s poor giving of the message that is the problem.

As a missionary, God has placed many good people under my care to feed spiritually until the next man takes over. If I give a lousy delivery, I am not only telling the people that I did not study, but I am showing with my actions that God’s Word is NOT interesting. Shame on me, shame on us if we do not prepare well enough!

I am definitely not the appropriate person to tell what kind of method of preaching is the best, but I do know that whatever is going to be used must first be studied. Almost every message that I have not delivered well came as a direct result of my lack of preparation.

The Bible teaches me in II Timothy 2:15 – “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” If I don’t want to be ashamed, I clearly must do the first part – study! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that good delivery usually comes because of good preparation. When I studied Homiletics in college, I was told that preaching has two births: one in the study and the other in the delivery. If nothing happens in the study, nothing happens in the delivery!

My desire as a missionary is to not only teach the people, but to teach future pastors, preachers and missionaries. But if I can not start with the simple step of studying for my sermon, not only will I never progress in the ministry, but future candidates never will be prepared to take the Good News.

I challenge all of us to pick up the most beautiful and interesting Book and promise to deliver it with the due respect deserved to its Author. Many will never heed to the Message because of the failure of the messenger to do his part. I determine to always give God’s Word with all my strength – only after much prayer and study preparation!

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