A retired gentleman in a study I participated in the other day stated that he was a basketball referee as a younger man and as he grew older he would then train other referees. In his training he would tell new referees that when they are in a game they need to know that any call they make they will upset half of the people. Since that will be the case it is important to not try to please the crowd as you will fail in your task. As such there are a few rules that he would tell his referees:
- Be where you need to be
- Make the call
- Trust that your location has given you the best location to make the call, even if people walk out of the game cursing your name
Not bad rules for a preacher in training as well.
- Be where you need to be - practice the disciplines, be in people's lives, read the news, repent and reflect
- Make the call - preach the message that you have been given
- Trust that your location has given you the best location to make the call - Trust that God is working in and through you such that even if people curse your name you can stand confident that you were as faithful as you could be to the message delivered
Referees don't always get the call right, they are human and they are subject to all human failings. Preachers are the same. We don't always make the right call. We are subject to all human failing. But it is often not for lack of trying but because we are not always in the best location. When preachers fail to practice the disciplines you can be sure preachers will no be in the right location to make the call.