A pastor listens for the message God wants preached. Preparation, editing, and polishing follow.
He1 must judge how best to present the whole; detect if there is a particular aspect to emphasise; decide whether to use external aids, drama, other people.
Yet this is always a framework, to be held lightly. It cannot be a concrete structure, rigid in its packaging. It is not a script tied up in a half-hour box that must be reproduced exactly as written.
The pastor hears God’s directive for the moment, for a particular service. The direction could come from a word of knowledge, or from a long-term awareness; the message could be part of a planned series or a last-moment fresh revelation.
Whatever it is, however it is presented, it is the eternal Word, fresh for that church, timeous for that time, specific for those who hear it.
An awesome responsibility is held by those who present the Word. Let us keep them in our prayers.
1For the sake of ease in these writings, pastors are referred to as he, rather than the grammatically awkward he/she. It is freely and gratefully acknowledged that by the grace and gifting of God there are countless pastors, teachers and other office bearers who are the equally recognised ‘she’ in these sentences.