Two quick reminders if you preached a dud this Sunday.
First, I don’t say if you “feel” like you preached a dud. That can be an entirely different conversation. Rather, you know for a fact that you did not honor the word of God and the people of God in the proclamation of God’s word.
1- Own it. Whether is was a lack of prayer or preparation, you need to own what was missing and fix that. Do not get comfortable in a low tempered proclamation. You are not called to “pull it off” ever Sunday. You are called to faithfully honor God’s people by proclaiming a prayed over and prepared word fostering transformation for your people. Apologizing to everyone the entire week after is not helpful. Stop that. Really you just want someone to say, “Oh, it wasn’t that bad at all.” Listen, in our weakness, the Spirit of God takes those duds and works. Praise God, but don’t make a habit out of that. It is what it is. You blew it. So does the mechanic, waitress, athlete, and every other human. Embrace what happened, God’s loving sovereignty in the midst of it, and move on.
2- Get over it. It happened. It’s over. Embrace it. Stop worrying about it. Stop apologizing for it. I recall recently preaching the absolute worst sermon I have ever preached. Why? Let me be honest. I didn’t pray and prepare honorably. Bottom line. Now, that dud fueled me toward new patterns, and the next opportunity I had to preach I still have people comment on how it is transforming them. Doesn’t matter how busy your week is, you cannot short change the spade work of sermon prep, and that spade work isn’t simply your nose in a commentary. Let’s be even more honest, you aren’t terribly disappointed because you dishonored God, you’re disappointed that you disappointed people. So they think you’re less the preacher than you thought yourself to be. That’s a good humbling, but don’t let that continue.
Monday can be a terrible time for pastors, but we need to work for joy on Mondays. If you have lazy or faulty patterns leading to a constant dishonoring of God’s word and God’s people in the proclamation of His truths, you need to appropriately scale your schedule fast. Owning and getting over a bad sermon should be a rare necessity. Living in lazy or overbusy-ed patterns leading to constant duds has to stop immediately.