Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. – James 3:1-2
I served local churches as a pastor-teacher for two decades, but I never aspired to be one. For the first decade of my post-college life I worked as an accountant. I even contemplated opening my own private CPA practice; however, in August of 1985 that all changed when I received Christ’s unmistakable call to leave my chosen profession to assume one that He had chosen for me. Preaching was certainly never something I considered!
My early attempts were at best comical and at worst deplorable, but I always tried to deliver God’s message and not my own. Even today, despite my best intentions, when the opportunity arises, I can sometimes get in the way; a wrong word or opinion can hide or eclipse God’s truth. Verbal stumbling is a part of every speaker’s life and it is only by God’s grace and mercy that the person who proclaims God’s Word can continue.
To shepherd God’s flock (and guide it into a proper grasp of His truth) is a sacred responsibility and, as such, must be taken with humble reverence, but those who have been called to it must take it still.
I have never once feared the devil, but I tremble every time I enter the pulpit. – John Knox