I was teaching at a friend’s church this weekend and I taught a message I shared at CF a couple of weeks ago that was still stirring in me. But it got me thinking about the idea of preaching re-runs… (which, by the way, I never write new messages when I guest speak)
I have never been able to pull a message out of the files from 2 years previous and teach it as is. I know some guys can do that. I can’t. I work hard to continue growing as a communicator, so I’d like to think that a message I gave 2 years ago was my best, but I was in another place in my development as a speaker. That’s why the messages always change so much.
A few weeks ago I taught a passage in Mark that I had preached on before. So I pulled out my old notes thinking, “Man, I going to be able to coast this weekend. I did the heavy lifting on this passage 3 years ago.” I was amazed at how little I kept. I copied and pasted the meaning of the passage and that’s it. The introduction changed. The illustrations changed, and the application changed. It was an entirely different message because I’m a different person than I was 3 years ago. I guess that’s why Haddon Robinson described preaching as, “Truth through a personality.”
So the question is, are we growing in our communication skills? And what are we doing to get better? B/c if that message from 3 years ago is still where I’m at, then I haven’t changed much.