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What advice would you give to a pastor who wants to grow as a preacher?


Harshit Singh: Hey brothes, what advice would you give to someone—a pastor or a young Pastor—who wants to grow and mature as a faithful Bible preacher?

Stephen David: Yeah that's a very good question and I think it requires to be thought about seriously. And one thing that I constantly emphasize to men that I train is that you need to labour to get the clarity of thought of what the text is saying. That's the first responsibility—clarity, clarity, clarity of thought. Do you know what the text is saying? And secondly, the clarity of communication. You need to work hard on how to use appropriate words to communicate to the congregation. So, that's one advice that I give to rising preachers.

Harshit Singh: So two things: work hard on understanding the meaning, but also work hard on communicating. 

Jonathan George: And I think it's helpful—you can't do this just on your own—it's helpful if you do this in the context where there's other people who can actually give you feedback and tell you how you're doing—in both of these aspects—so, have you got the main idea of the passage? And are you able to communicate it or not?—and how you can grow. So I think it is very helpful to have people around you who can tell you, give you honest critique and help you grow.

Nathan Eda: Love God and love God enough to understand his word the way he intended for us and love people enough to communicate it in a way that is clear and easy without using big words. I think that's helpful. 

Harshit Singh: So, along with your own study and getting feedback from people, another thing is I think is reading good books on preaching and listening to good preachers. I mean older preachers, current preachers. The Internet has provided us a lot of good resources, you can get online and listen to I mean good preachers, and biblical preachers. Not anybody, not any random person, but a good faithful preachers. And I think that will also be a good help. 

Nathan Eda: Yes, and know there's room for improvement all the time. Have an attitude of humility knowing that I can do better because it's God's word and we need to work harder.

Stephen David: And one thing that I also say to young preachers is that we need to be patient with ourselves as we grow in effectively understanding and communicating the word of God. Sometimes we listen to Piper and MacArthur. And we think that we can become such preachers overnight. And that doesn't happen instantaneously. It takes years of experience, it takes even a lot of time in labouring, reading and as Hashit said,  reading books, listening to preachers, and studying the Bible. So all this takes some time for a person to become a fine preacher. So be patient, patient, patient with yourself 

Harshit Singh: I think I would say that a good preacher is not only a person who understands the Scripture well and can communicate well. But knows his people well. You have to know your people well, you have to spend time with your people. While I'm grateful for a lot of Western influence, but Western Christianity often has a lot of professionalization of ministry. So, in the West, you can afford to be a specialized preaching pastor. But in our context, I think that is just not feasible.

I think a pastor has to do a lot of visiting, discipling, counselling, and firefighting in terms of just relationships, all those kinds of things, practical work also. In the midst of all of that and building relationships with people in the church and finding time to study. It has to be a both not just either this or that. I think that's very important for us because a lot of young people who finish Seminary think “I've been called to preach” and they want to do nothing else than just spend 50-60 hours a week just reading and studying a passage which is a great, excellent desire. But I would say do not neglect your people, get to know your church, and invest in them. 

Nathan Eda: So if we do that can you give an example of how that makes you a better preacher? If you know your people well, if you know the text well along with the people. So doing the visitation, hanging out with them and also doing the hard work. How does that improve yourself as a preacher?

Harshit Singh: I think knowing how to apply it better, how to apply it better. Being more compassionate towards the struggles, sins, and difficulties that your people are. I think it makes you more compassionate understanding preacher. So you're not preaching at them, you're not just preaching to them as a distant academic person who has done a lot of studies in his own like room, shut himself. But he is speaking as one of them. And I think along with that as you're preaching you're also applying it to yourself. So you don't come as someone who is higher than them. I think interacting with people, investing, shepherding, discipling, and visiting will protect you from that error.  

Nathan Eda: And letting the word speak to your heart first and change you first. 

Jonathan George: Just talking around the same things. So I'm a younger preacher.

Harshit Singh: But good preacher.

Jonathan George: But my struggle often is I can make out that my application isn't as strong and sometimes it is because I don't know the people as well. And it's also experiencing. Experience age-time in the ministry. So you can make that out, so somebody who has been working with people for like ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, yhey know people's hearts better, they're more in tune with that. And so I mean, this is related to what you were also saying. So it takes time so you can't just suddenly become very insightful and empathetic with people. It's a long process.

Harshit Singh: I actually worry and fear for young preachers who think they are great.  

Nathan Eda: So, experience does count here! 

Harshit Singh: Certainly for sure. We are not to say that young guys, young men cannot be good preachers. There are some people, who are exceptionally gifted in the way they understand the passage and the way they can communicate. I think we want to kind of temper that down with time and with them being involved in the lives of individuals of the church people, serving them, serving the church. And not just like oh! I know let me tell you what this says, but this is how I've been transformed and also having that kind of disposition not overconfident. “Let me tell you what God's word says” but like “I think this is what God's word is saying. And this it’s taught me, I've learned and this is where my sin has been exposed. And I've been and I want to urge you my brothers and sisters or my uncles and aunties or whoever you like some older people. This is what the word is saying please listen to what God is saying to us.” So just including rather than you it is us, we. I think that kind of language “I often fail,” “I have fallen.” And then saying “Hey!  don't you see that we often also.” So more like more respectful just the way you start like applying it all. And I think age matters with that. Anything more!

Stephen David: Yeah! probably what you say you know makes me to think that no one can become a good preacher if he doesn't love people. That's what I see in your words because sometimes there is a temptation of being fascinated to preach than being eager to love people. Preaching I think is an expression of your love for people. It is not a manifestation of your performance.

Nathan Eda: Yeah great that's great.

Harshit Singh: Many of us know Brother Andy Hamilton and he'll often ask me? “Hey!  Harshit is the church just your preaching station or do you really love people? And the older woman who is not going to add to your ministry and you know external ways. Or the handicapped woman that comes to your church, and the illiterate person. But they are the sheep. The Lord has put them in your life and you must love them. Not just the FAT people, Faithful Available Teachable, young people. 

Nathan Eda: I was waiting for you to finish. What do you mean by that, I'm on this side of the end….

Harshit Singh: People who would add value to a ministry. That's how we think because all of us want to see multiplying ministries. We want to see church planters you know. We have a specific kind of people in mind to shepherd, teach, and invest. But I think what we have to think, anyone and everyone the Lord brings into our church in our congregation in a ministry, we have to love them, shepherd them, and invest in them, care for them.
Nathan Eda: Because it after all Christ's church.

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