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1. Calling

The most frustrated preacher is the one who has a sense of duty but not a burning calling. Preaching is not just another helping profession, a Christian version of the politics or the Peace Corps. The call to preach is a definite demand issued by the Holy Spirit that ignites a fire in one’s bones that cannot be extinguished by the hard-hearted, stiff-necked, or dull of hearing. A preacher who has been called must preach what God has spoken simply because God has spoken it. The success of one’s ministry will depend on the strength of his calling. His willingness to work at his preaching will be proportional to his conviction that God has called him to preach and to be as fit a vessel for God’s use as he can be. The Holy Spirit must undergird everything else from preparation to delivery, and that will not happen apart from that calling.

Hershael York is Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Christian Preaching and Associate Dean of Ministry and Proclamation in the School of Theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Senior Pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church. He is married to Tanya and they have two sons.


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