Could I now reach who I once was?
Every preacher needs to ask this question. Every preacher is a human being who once was a child needing to grow up, whose stories are mistures of tragedies and triumphs. Every preacher is a human being who has given wrong answers, prayed incorrecly, misquoted the Bible, daydreamed, and longed for things that now embarrass or have hurt other people. And it was there as such a person in such environments that God came and found us. Anything good we ever preach has been made possible by a prior testimony of God's mercy. We've dreamt of making a difference. But what if differences are made by remembering where we'd be without God and then ministering to others out of that knowledge? What if preaching requires something prior to homiletics?
. . . Until we remember that God drew us to himself and nourished us before we even knew where to find the book of Exodus in the Bible or that such things as Arminianism and Calvinism even existed, we will withhold from others the same mercy that was required for us to learn what we now know.
--Zack Eswine, Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons that Connect with Our Culture (Baker 2008), 11
Zack's own messages are invariably helpful, softening, humble, real, Christian. He pastors Riverside Church in St. Louis. Listen here.