Your Preaching Is Not God’s Work. You Are God’s Work.

How inner transformation shapes outward proclamation.

Your preaching is not God’s work. You are God’s work. I received this vision in a peculiar way.

As I was minding my own business leading a foundation that helped denominations start new churches, unexpectedly a headhunter came my way seeking my interest in leading Alpha USA. I have always loved the intersection of evangelism, church, and culture. I had great respect for international Alpha leaders, so I sincerely sought discernment before taking on this new role.

As a part of that seeking, I phoned my friend Dallas Willard. Dallas could sense in me an overemphasis on choosing a job. He said: “Todd, your work is not God’s work. You are God’s work. Your work is simply one context in which you apprentice yourself to Jesus.” I’ve come to know that what I learned about a job that day also applies to preaching: Todd, your preaching is not God’s work. You are God’s work. Preaching flows from God’s work within.

Before Proclamation

To proclaim is to shout something out in public. We preachers love proclamation—it is active and energetic. We also tend to be energized by the idea of what God is doing through us. There’s a buzz that comes from being used by God. It’s exciting! This is not in and of itself a problem, as long as we recognize that proclamation requires “preclamation”—the quiet, hidden claiming of our hearts for God so that our core motivation, no matter the size of the crowd, is to preach for an audience of one.

Such preaching is the outward expression of a journey inward. Preaching is unavoidably connected to the preacher’s inner life. One’s interior reality …

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