Honestly, its been over two years since I have been fed like that on a Sunday morning. Maybe it should be a requirement of the church that they send their preachers away one Sunday a year to hear someone else preach and be refreshed. Not tied to vacation and maybe not even in their own building where there are still tons of responsibilities that day, but simply a time to be spoken to and have your heart refreshed.
Instead of driving me to preach less often, it gave me a shot of energy and passion to preach even more. I'm looking forward to this Sunday where I can stand in the pulpit again and speak to my congregation. it isn't because I have such great and wonderful things to say. It is because I have a sermon in my heart that God and His Holy Spirit has placed there along with a passion to proclaim truth.
Being in the audience also allows me to know what it is like once again to be a listener. After a while, whether we preachers will admit it or not, we begin to guess what it is like to hear our own sermons. Sure we can go online and listen to them after we preach them (which I do often), but it is not like being in the audience and seeing people's reactions and laughing at the same joke together and getting the feel for what is going on as the listener. This is a great experience and a practice that all preachers should undertake.
One of the best things, though was to put my arm around my wife and listen to the word of God come from the lips of his servant and enter our minds, hearts, and being. It was the Holy Spirit allowing us to be refreshed simultaneously. Even, though I had responsibilities in worship that day, I was still able to lay all of that aside as I listened to Randy and heard the word of God proclaimed boldly. And I was able to do this while sitting right beside my wife.
I have been given the gift and calling to present and proclaim the word of God to His people and those searching for Him. And yet that call and gift are refreshed and renewed when I become the recipient of someone else's gift and calling for proclamation.
What is it that you always do, that maybe you need to be the recipient from for a short time?
How can you give your preachers a chance to receive the word of God from someone else?
What do you do to be refreshed and renewed in God?