Yesterday a member of the congregation told me: “It’s like you said last week, pastor…” and they continued to quote the sermon at me. That’s really scary.
If they had quoted the Bible, I would be proud of them. But they quoted me. I realize that this is a compliment; it means that I am communicating well and in a way that is memorable for at least this congregation member. And what they quoted is certainly biblical. The problem I have is that they used my words.
What happens if I go off the deep end? What happens if what they remember is that time I spoke the wrong thing? What happens if they take as their example my sinful weakness? It scares me.
I pray that God preserves me in faith. This is a worthy prayer and one every Christian can (and should!) pray. I pray that my Father guides me so that I don’t mislead anyone by false doctrine, nor by accidental deception. And all I can do here is continually point to Jesus, not myself. It’s not my sermon I want anyone to remember. It’s God’s truth. I want them to remember the Word.
And I suppose when I am faithful, it’s honoring and humbling that God would use my sermon to bring his truth to his people…
…but it still scares me, and I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever get used to it.