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Christian inspiration is essential for all Christians, including preachers. Many people, even some preachers it seems, think that inspiration comes automatically for the minister.
Sorry, it does not! We have to work at being a good Christian just like every other believer. And then, on top of that, we have to work at being a good preacher.
The fact is, you'll never be a good preacher until you are first and foremost a good Christian yourself. It is our job as ministers to inspire others.
But only inspired people can inspire other people!
I've known young preachers who wanted to skip the training or skimp on the training so they could quickly get into the ministry. Unfortunately, they weren't even good Christians yet or even good church members for that matter.
But they wanted to hurry and become the best known preacher that ever existed. It just doesn't work that way. Yes, even preachers need Chritian inspiration and if we are not willing to take the time to get it from the right places, how can we expect to be the inspiration for those we minister to? We cannot.
So where does the preacher get his inspiration? What is the minister's source or sources of spiritual strength and where does he get the spiritual inspiration he needs for the Christian life and the Christian ministry?
First and foremost, my source of strength is from God. And if God is not our main source of Christian inspiration and ministry inspiration, our Christian life and ministry will be limited in its development and outcome. We must personally worship and walk with the Lord. We must personally hear from Him and He must be our all in all. More on God as our strength later.
Another source of strength is the Bible. Of course, it is somewhat difficult to separate God and His Word. Christ is the Living Word. Therefore, the Word of God must be a vital part of our Christian inspiration as well. There are too many inspirational Bible verses to count so use them!
If we want to know God, we must know God's Word. Then, after we know God and His Word, we will have Biblical inspiration and we can minister His Word to others. More about the Bible as our source of strength later.
Another source of strength is prayer. Prayer is done too little by many Christians and, unfortunately, by many preachers as well. In his book, "Preacher and Prayer," E. M. Bounds said, "The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men." And Bounds was talking about better men of prayer. More on prayer as our source of strength later.
Another source of strength is our personal worship. Hearing from God is good; reading the Bible is good; praying is good; but worshiping God is the best. God doesn't just want to hear from us in prayer; He wants to hear from our heart in praise. Praise comes from a heart that is thankful to Him for all His goodness. More on worship as our source of strength later.
Another source of strength is our joy. The Scripture even says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It is amazing to realize that without joy we have no strength. But joy is not something you purchase or work up on your own. It's not just a series of temporary happy moments. It's an eternity of happy moments. It is a spiritual process that comes from the Lord. More on joy as our source of strength later.
Another source of strength is from our colleagues. Making and fellowshipping with friends in the ministry can be a helpful source of Christian inspiration. Yes it must be secondary to our walk with the Lord, but it is good to compare notes (good and bad) with others who share the same burden. More on our colleagues as a source of strength later.
Another source of strength is from our mentors. Hopefully every preacher had a mentor, a spiritual father that helped you mature in the Lord and in the ministry and is still there for counsel. If you did not have a mentor, it's not too late. Ministry mentors are a great source of strength. More on mentors as a source of strength later.
Another source of strength is from conferences or seminars. Sometimes it is good to get away to study under and hear from those who have "been there" and "done that" and were successful at it. A conference or a seminar might be the way to get the refreshment and encouragement in the ministry that we need. More on conferences as a source of strength later.
Another source of strength is from Christian brothers and sisters. They may be in our ministry or out of our ministry. It doesn't matter. If they are walking with the Lord, God may lead them across our path for Christian inspiration when we need it the most. He does this all the time. More on Christians as a source of strength later.
Christian inspiration is definitely essential for all Christians and especially for preachers. The source of our strength may vary, but ultimately it is from God. In other words, He may use a person, place or thing to inspire us, but whatever the source of inspiration, it will finally lead us to God Himself. He is our ultimate source of strength.
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