Recently, I published a post regarding reading an entire passage of Scripture for context and clarification. If you have not read it, you can find it here. I may get a little too vulnerable, especially for those of whom are a part of our church congregation, but I do not believe I am alone in this issue.
I am a person that loves to study, but hates to study. I am so easily distracted (no, I am not ADD/ADHD, nor do I claim it), it takes me a long time to read through things. I’ve never done well at staying on task while preparing a sermon or a lesson for students. Sometimes it would take me a couple of days to do so, mainly because of my easily distracted mind. Basically, what I am trying to get across to you is this: I’ve been lazy.
More than anything else, it has probably not been a conscious laziness as much as a sub-conscious fatal flaw. And one of the main reasons I can confidently admit this is because I know there are others out there who are similar to me. I do not have a statistic to prove this, nor do I want to submit one to you. But I can almost guarantee you there are others who deal with this problem. The reason I speak confidently about this is because I hear all the time from fellow pastors/student ministers of men who are going to the internet and taking other’s sermons and preaching them as their own. When this happens, I would argue the main reason they are doing it is because of laziness.
I am done with that rant. Sorry.
Now back to me. Because of this problem, I decided to stop this. I know, sounds brave, right? Well, no. I am just sick of the laziness in my life. To whom much is given, much is required, and I’ve been given much. Therefore, I must give more than I believe is satisfactory.
This past Wednesday, I started a new study in the short book of Esther with our students. I decided before anything else that I would read the ENTIRE book and note themes of every chapter. If you are a minister reading this, you are thinking, “Duh, this is what everyone does.” And you are correct. The most common tool of studying for a sermon/lesson is reading the book over and over. I have not been committed to doing this and I confess to it. However, I decided to do it.
And it moved me.
Whenever I read the entire book, I was moved. This is what God wants from us as ministers, I am convinced. Whenever we do not read the book before diving into deep study, we run the risk of God’s Word never moving us to change into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29-30).