I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
In the Bible class I was in today the excellent teacher was talking about the week before and some of the mistakes he felt he made that made, in his opinion, the class not as good as he wanted it to be. He takes his teaching very seriously and he was talking about the burden of doing your best in preparing and presenting. He used a phrase that my become one of my go to descriptors of an aspect of preaching. He said: “It’s live and you get one take.” Scott Ford.
How good is that? It sort of all sums up how I feel most every Sunday night. As I critique my sermons and classes and think of all the things I wish I’d said, the points I didn’t make, how I could have said better what I did say, and the things I could or should have left out.
Every Sunday we do live theater and only get one take. Only it’s much more serous than theater, it’s souls and eternity and Words of God. Maybe that explains the pressure we feel in striving to bring our best. Maybe the perfectly calibrates why we agonize over words and text and phrases.
It’s live and you only get one take. Bring your best.