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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Feeling Insecure about My Preaching

Gracious, helpful input

This morning at Starbucks a good friend gave some input on my preaching.

He was encouraging and affirming.

But he had some suggestions for how my preaching could be improved.

After thinking and praying about these suggestions — I believe they are good and wise.

But still …

Here I am — studying for Sunday’s sermon on the Beatitudes — and feeling —

  • Insecure — what else is wrong with my preaching?
  • Fearful — can I improve in these areas?
  • Defensive — but I work really hard on my preaching!
  • Worried — what if Sunday’s sermon is a train-wreck?

I can tell there’s a problem.  I’m not fully trusting Jesus.

So I thought I should stop and bring this to the Father so He can change my heart.

Where to start?

I believe it was Spurgeon who said God has a promise for every problem.

Which means God has promises in His Word for what I’m facing right now.

So I’m going to ask God to lead me to helpful promises, which I will pray over until the Spirit strengthens my faith and changes my heart.

Here’s the first promise that comes to mind —

This input is part of God’s loving plan for me.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  (1 Cor 12:21)

God has made the body of Christ in such a way that we need each other.

Which means I need others to give me input on my preaching.

Input from others is not something I should feel bad about — it’s a gift from God I should rejoice in.

So — thank you, Father, for this gift.

(And — if you are reading this — thank you, my friend, for the input.)

My preaching doesn’t have to be perfect to be used by God.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1Cor 3:6-7)

Why is it troubling to hear that my preaching could be improved?

My preaching is — and always will be — imperfect.

There’s only one perfect preacher — Jesus.

The rest of us have varying levels of imperfection.  But God — in great mercy — works through us anyway.

So the fact that I have weaknesses and areas for growth does not mean God isn’t using my preaching.

God will help me grow in areas where I am weak.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2Tim 2:15)

I said I would focus on promises — and this verse is actually a command.

But every command carries with it the promise that God will enable us to obey.

So God will enable me to do my best to become a worker who rightly handles the word of truth.

Which means He will help me with the specific weaknesses I heard about this morning.

(And now that I think about it — isn’t that why He had my friend share them with me?)

God will help me with this Sunday’s sermon.

For the Lord GOD helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.  (Isaiah 50:7)

I am turning to the Father in Jesus’ name.

I am admitting that my faith is weak, my pride is wounded, and I am feeling insecure.

I am asking the Father to help me.  Strengthen my weak faith.  Keep wounding my pride.  But secure me in your love.

Right now — as I am praying over that promise — my faith is growing.

I have a ways to go — but I am feeling peace that God is going to give me everything I need for Sunday.

A burden is lifting.  I’m feeling free.

Back to the Beatitudes.

Comments?  Feedback?  Thoughts?

I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to leave a reply below.

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(Picture by molcatron on everystockphoto.)

Category: Stories from My Life

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19 Responses

  1. Cathy CHaron says:

    Pastor Steve,
    First, I will attempt to respond in a manner that won’t challenge your struggle with pride ; )
    Craig and I have said on many occasions how we are *refreshed-edified-and filled with God’s presence from your great teaching/preaching! We personally are blessed by your truthful yet targeted for today’s presentation of the gospel. We also love your humor which in juxtaposition of daily world events soothes our souls. In other words dear brother..you ROCK! Ha.

  2. Dan Fuller says:

    Dear Steve I think what you are doing here is very helpful because you are describing exactly how one should fight the fight of faith. Love Dad

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Dear Dad —

      I am greatly encouraged by what you wrote. And I am so thankful for how the Father taught you these truths from His Word — and for how you taught them to me. And you did not just teach with words — for years I watched you live these truths as you fought the fight of faith. Thank you for your words — and your example.

      Love, Steve

  3. Dale Pearson says:

    Pastor Steve, you need not worry my friend, I told my wife on many occasion, when you preach your words are truly words from God and there were times when you turned your eyes to the heavens and without saying a word you said everything I needed to hear about God and His love for us.you my friend are a gift.
    Love Dale

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your encouraging thoughts, Dale.

      You and Sharron are missed — but I am so glad to have you part of the new church plant!

      Much love to you both — Steve

  4. Natasha Kay says:

    I believe that sometimes those “weaknesses” are actually gifts from God. He must know that if we find perfection, we are dangerously close to feeling adequate in our self and we stop looking to Him. And we both know how that ends!

    But that being said, I will take this opportunity to say that God has used your sermons to speak to me more times than I can count. I came to San Jose in 2010 and MHC was the first church I tried. Within ten minutes of hearing you preach, I knew that MHC was to be my home church and I was going to get FED. Not just a “milk church” — where the pastor preaches the milk and keeps the seats full. But a “meat church” — a church where you will be challenged and questioned. A church where, if you let it, growth is inevitable.

    In fact, I go to church every single Sunday with the full expectation that God is going to teach me something through what you have to say! I’ve had sermons resonate with me many times before but never in such consistency as with you. So whatever you’re doing, no matter how flawed or imperfect, it’s working great for me! Part of what works is your transparency and honesty — keep it up! 🙂

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Very encouraging, Natasha. And I’m not sure I ever considered my weaknesses as gifts from God — but that is so true — and so helpful. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Paul Nunez says:

    Steve, I needed to hear this and mostly importantly hear those promises. Thank you.

  6. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    Hi Steve,

    My previous commenters have already said what must have been said. By the way, you are not the only one who is richly blessed by having such a wonderful father – your father himself is as blessed as you are, Steve, for he has such a grateful son who honors him the way you did with your above comment. Congratulations to you both! What a generous God!

    As for your sermons, I told you recently that I did feel unction on you while listening to your sermons because my heart was burning. Why should God take away what He has already given to you, so that you are always able to preach what people need to hear for their growth in Christ?
    I do believe that any believer knows feelings of insecurity, weakness and fear. If we were strong by nature, we wouldn’t even pray to God that He helps us. The Apostle Paul is a shining example for me that I can boldly admit, “I am weak and I need God all the time.”
    Paul said,

    “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Cor 2:1-5)

    I think that Paul even was proud of his weakness and classified it as a real virtue by saying,

    “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.“ (2 Cor 12:9-10)

    Concerning your sermon’s topic – The Beatitudes – I wonder whether the first Beatitude doesn’t make the same point Paul made, namely

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:3)

    Who is poor in spirit? Whoever needs God in every area of life! The danger of losing God’s presence begins at the very moment when we feel secure and self-sufficient in our doing. If we need Him less, we will pray less, and if we stop praying, we will lose Him. That’s the other side of the medal. Though it’s not pleasant to feel insecure and weak, it is necessary lest we do lose sight of God.

    PS

    Here you are, Steve. Another of my lengthy comments. However, didn’t I take a backseat for quite some time now – only reading your blog posts, the related comments, and (almost) not commenting myself? But give me a holler, a broad hint, in case I overcharge your blog again! 😉

    Blessings to you and your family, your ministry, your congregation, and to every reader of Living by Faith Blog,

    Susanne

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Susanne,

      Thank you for your encouragement and wise words. It’s good to have you back. And from your post it sounds like you are encouraged in the Lord — so glad for that.

      May the Father pour His grace upon you and your family this week —

      Steve

  7. Orion Kubow says:

    Steve,

    You’re a good teacher who walks in integrity. The fact that you were willing to receive input shows humility and meekness. It’s a blessing to have a teacher who not only preaches, but also applies the word to every aspect of his life. Can’t wait to here today’s sermon!

    Orion

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Orion,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share such encouraging words. And also I appreciated your email about this morning’s message.

      May we live at the foot of the Cross, receiving the powerful comfort of Jesus, so we grow in being merciful and pure in heart this week — for the glory of Jesus.

      Steve

  8. Bill Schuler says:

    Aaaah your an ok preacher I guess…..I think you need to pound your fists more, and call down some thunder! 🙂 Keep trusting Jesus! Your insecurities have wonderfully kept you dependant on the Father, so keep up the good work. Who knows it may not be long before the work day is done.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Great hearing from you, Bill. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. So true that insecurities can keep us dependent on the Father. Let’s press on in Him.

  9. Claudia Henry says:

    Again, this article was written for me. I do make occasional presentations at church and for most – if not all – of the time, on completion, I find myself conducting a mental review and harsh criticism of the presentation, i.e. what I should have said and not said and dwelling on my mistakes, etc. But always, members of the congregation would encourage me and say that they were blessed. I think I need to remove the focus on myself and place it fully on God instead. I need to ask God to equip me with confidence and help me recognise that my sole role is to present (plant) and allow the Holy Spirit and God to water and give growth.

    This article really ministered to me. Thank you Pastor Steve.

  10. Overcomer says:

    Wow Steve, you are so broken i can see it in your every comment,and this is a virtue i desire so much, you are really an inspiration to me. I now know i don’t need to give a fancy or perfect speach for people to be touched. You are indeed a blessing to us all.

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