A preacher got into the habit of writing his sermons word for word. It worked well - until one Sunday he found himself in the pulpit without his notes. Addressing the congregation, he said, 'I've forgotten my notes this morning, so I'll have to pray and rely on the Lord. But at tonight's service I'll come better prepared.' Cute story, but it's not so cute when it's a reality! Pastor, your people may be impressed with your speaking abilities short-term, but they'll only be impacted long-term when your words are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The ability to change hearts is above your pay grade, so don't fall into that ego trap or you'll fizzle like a wet firecracker!
Study the life of Christ. Before He chose His disciples, or walked on the water, or fed the multitude, He spent hours in prayer. So in order to choose the right people, feed your flock on Sunday morning, or 'walk on water' and accomplish great things for God, you must focus on preparing your heart and not just your message. You say, 'But I'm a people person.' That's good, but you'll have nothing to say to people that'll make any real difference unless you get it from God. You say, 'But I'm a project person.' Unless you spend time with God you'll get into things you shouldn't - things you may not be able to get out of. Moses said, 'I lay prostrate before the Lord...forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said He would destroy you.' And the end result? God not only saved the nation, He blessed it.
So pastor, prepare your heart.
Soulfood : 2 Chr 12-15, Lk 15:11-32, Ps 119:97-104, Prov 21:24-27