I’ve been told that preaching 30 minutes to an hour is equivalent to 8 hours of work.
I wasn’t sure, so I Googled it and…sure enough, that’s the word on the proverbial internet street.
See for yourselves:
Not sure how that proposition can be verified. Honestly, it sounds like the results of a study conducted by a defensive preacher who wanted to justify laziness and silence anyone who might be critical of his work ethic.
Don’t get me wrong, preaching–done right–is really hard work. I spend 10-20 hours a week preparing my message while also juggling hours of counseling, leading my staff, returning phone calls, answering emails, going to the hospital, planning, discipling at least 3 guys, teaching, and meeting with members, Elders, and my staff, plus a myriad of other jobs or crises that “pop” up in any given week. Yes, being a preacher is hard work, but my work is not inherently harder than the work the men and women in my church family do each week–working 40-60 hours a week while also trying raise a family, maintain a house, and volunteer in a ministry.
I absolutely LOVE being a preacher and I refuse to whine about the challenges of my job because I feel blessed to be able to provide for my family, while also doing what I feel called to do.
I wouldn’t trade being a preacher for anything in the world.
And, why should I whine? Aren’t we supposed to take up our crosses and follow him? I don’t want an easy calling; I want it to be difficult. I want to know, at the end of any given week, that I’ve given Christ my all and been a good steward of the ministry entrusted to me by the Elders of my church and the people in my church family.
That being said, I’m currently preaching 4 times every Sunday (our 4 services are all the same) and I’m constantly being asked, “How do you physically do that?”
It is hard. I’m completely exhausted on Sunday nights when I’m done preaching. Now, I don’t feel like I’ve worked 32 hours straight!!!! I don’t agree that preaching 30 minutes to an hour is the same as working 8 hours, but it does take a ton of energy to passionately deliver the same message 4 times in a row. Sometimes, in the 4th service, I’m actually talking in my sleep.
So, here’s how I do it. Here are some of the keys to preaching multiple services:
1. Be passionate about your message.
When the message I have to share with the people is burning within me, I feel energized each time I have the opportunity to share it.
2. Be prepared.
When I go into a Sunday realizing that I’m not as prepared as I should be, I really struggle maintaining the energy I need to preach the message multiple times.
3. Be rested.
Preaching multiple times on a Sunday requires that I go to bed early on Saturday night. I’ve been hired to preach, so I don’t have the right to stay out late on Saturday night. I owe it to my church and my calling to try to get a good night’s sleep on Saturday night. I also try to take a nap on Sunday afternoons between our services. I turn off my cell phone and avoid scheduling afternoon events on Sundays to protect that nap time because I view that time of rest as sacred.
4. Be healthy.
I exercise a lot. I enjoy being healthy in general but I also exercise so I’m physically prepared for the challenges of ministering during the week and preaching 4 times a Sunday. Here’s a good article on the importance of exercising as stewardship of our bodies: What about exercise?
5. Be caffeinated.
Yes, my final key to preaching multiple services is: coffee. Just trying to keep it real. 🙂
©2012 Arron Chambers