How can you preach when you’re exhausted? I respond to this question in the latest edition of my column in the Patheos Preachers Portal. Here’s how it begins:
How can you offer living water through your preaching when your well is bone dry?
Have you ever asked yourself this? I have, many times. During my years as Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, the question usually struck me during the middle of May. My professional calendar paralleled that of the public schools. During July and August, I took time off from preaching to enjoy family vacation and recharge my batteries. I started a new preaching series in September, bounding with enthusiasm. The Spirit-driven wind of the Christian year carried me along through Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. But I hit the doldrums, almost inevitably, every May.
I knew I was slowing down when I’d reach the weekend without a sermon prepared. It would be hard for me to focus on the main point of the biblical text. Appropriate illustrations eluded my imagination. I could easily become discouraged, wondering what was wrong with me. Maybe, I thought, I just wasn’t spiritually mature enough to be a preacher.