What are your strengths? We can list the areas where we are strong and the areas we struggle. What about you? Strong voice? Unique accent? A memory that won’t stop? Ability to turn a phrase? Mad skills in alliteration? Super insight into the text? Uncommonly strong eye contact? The power to move an audience? A knowledge of when to pause? A humor that helps you connect? A transparency that allows people to see you as relatable? Aptness at applying the text? A mind that can retain languages? The consistency to see the bigger picture of the congregations immediate and long term needs and hurts? You probably possess one or more of these. And it makes you a better preacher if it is/they are honed and applied well.
Strengths. Maybe you feel a tad overwhelmed, a little deficient, behind, inept as you read through my list. I know I do.
How about a different list to consider? You can love your audience through your words. You do have the capacity to speak joy into the midst of misery. Where division is threatening you can share the Prince of Peace. If others are flagging behind you are able to demonstrate the patience to keep going! Those moments where the meanness of our culture seems to corrupt the mouths of God’s People, you can combat with kindness. While some will chase every “wind of doctrine” you will remain faithful to the Good News. Where those delicate situations arise you can gently lend your skill at providing a calming direction. While others might give into their passion you can show self-control. That list of possessed skill probably rings a bell: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those are gifts that have grown in you.
And, while you may or may not ever excel at the first list, the second if one you will continue to add strength in as you continue to abide in Him. I’ve been around some with skills so great at presenting I felt totally incompetent. Don’t quit. The second list can be “had” by any minister and will touch far more than the temporary skills in the first.