I think that almost every preacher can relate to this post:
I have a recurring dream that I am sure many preachers have. I am up front, talking, and people are leaving. Not in masse, but in groups or one at a time. They have somewhere else to be, something more important to do. I continue talking, and the room gets emptier and emptier and emptier. You want to make it stop, but you can’t. The most frightening moment of all comes as you realize what is happening, and that everyone wants to leave. You are faced with a terrible choice: Stop and acknowledge what is happening, and thereby admit failure. Or ignore it, somehow, and keep talking, fighting off the onslaught of truth that is right in front of you…
Read the whole post if you relate.
Reminds me from a section in the excellent novel Gilead as the Rev. John Ames writes to his son about his preaching.
I think every day about going through those old sermons of mine to see if there are one or two I might want you to read sometime, but there are so many, and I’m afraid, first of all, that most of them might seem foolish or dull to me.
There is not a word in any of those sermons I didn’t mean when I wrote it. If I had the time, I could read my way through fifty years of my innermost life. What a terrible thought…
Well, perhaps I can get a box of them down here somehow and do a little sorting. It would put my mind at ease to feel I was leaving a better impression. So often I have known, right here in the pulpit, even as I read these words, how far they fell short of any hopes I had for them. And they were the major work of my life, from a certain point of view. I have to wonder how I have lived with that.
I don’t know anything that can humble you quite as much as preaching.