“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Timothy 4:11-12).
Most of us started preaching when we were young.
We automatically made a ton of mistakes. it just goes with the territory, and no young minister should beat himself up over it.
Young preachers can be shallow, silly, arrogant, sloppy, and most of all ignorant. I’ve been a young preacher and at one time or the other, was all of those.
When I began preaching, as a college student, I filled my messages with slang and preached a lot of things I’d heard and thought about (but not thought through!), but very little from the Word.
I didn’t know enough of the Word to be able to preach it.
When I began preaching, I searched the Scripture for texts which would lend themselves to my shallow, superficial type of preaching. I wanted catchy phrases, clear and picturesque sentences which would encourage me to venture out with creative ideas of my own, which I would then attempt to adapt to scripture (!).
I didn’t know any better. I had never made an attempt to learn the Scriptures, but had heard messages from all over the place, many of them the very kind of preaching I was now attempting. To say I’d not had exemplary role models is an understatement.
My college preparation had been for the classroom, not for the pulpit. I had not been to seminary. And even after I got to seminary, I didn’t suddenly become mature and wise and smart.
I’m still working on that.
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