Making preaching and teaching a priority doesn’t mean devoting hours and hours to the study, it will mean some of that, but it also means meeting with the people, knowing them, knowing the pressures that they face, the temptations and pressures they feel and their spiritual temperature, so that preaching can be done well and relevantly and applicably to those God has called me to preach to, It’s not being an academic, it’s not being hidden behind a towering pile of commentaries. It is working hard to exegete both the word of God and the people of God.
I try to use the summer time to stop and take stock of where I am and where we are. As I do it’s always helpful to return to first things. Specifically what need to be the first things in my diary on a week to week basis, what are the priorities that we determine the reality of day to day ministry.
There is always lots to do and the good is often the enemy of the best. And so it’s been helpful to sit and try to weigh up this week does my diary reflect what ought to be my priorities in ministry. Acts 6 gives us a bit of a template when we look at the Apostles priorities when faced with the danger of distraction with good ministry but not the most necessary ministry.
There twin priorities were prayer and the teaching of the word. And they acted wisely in engaging others to take on the serving of tables – a good and necessary outworking of the gospel.