I can’t remember the last time I rode I bike. Even when I owned a bike I wasn’t all that proficient at riding it. The trickiest trick that I ever pulled off was going down a curb and even that filled me with some dread. Even though I was never very good at riding a bike, the adage is true: riding a bike is like riding a bike.
I certainly hope preaching is like riding a bike.
This weekend I have the opportunity to preach at my brother-in-law’s church. My brother-in-law, Bill, is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America and currently serving as the interim pastor of an RCA church. He also has his Ph.D. and teaches courses at two different seminaries. On top of that he’s a great father to two of my nieces, so I know he’s pretty busy. So I offered to give him a break in the pulpit.
Now I’m not being completely altruistic. I absolutely love preaching and am excited about the opportunity. After offering to preach, though, I realized that I had to actually prep and give a sermon.
For eight years I was regularly prepping and giving sermons. I would speak twice a week at youth group and once a month in our main worship services. I was in the rhythm of writing and speaking; I was definitely more comfortable in the pulpit than I ever was on a bike.
However, I am a little concerned that preaching isn’t like riding a bike.
What if I sit down at my computer to write my sermon and forget how to create a logical flow?
What if I start making a point only to lose it by cracking an ill-timed joke?
What if I forget what I’ve told countless other preachers and start moving without purpose?
I haven’t stood in front of a group and talked for over five months. That’s the longest stretch I’ve gone without talking in front of someone in probably 15 years. Even before I was a pastor I did a lot of teaching as a volunteer. So the last time that I had gone this long between teachings I was a teenager
So I definitely hope preaching is like riding a bike. Unlike riding a bike, though, with preaching I don’t have to solely rely on my own skills and abilities. With preaching I can place my trust in God and his ability and desire to work through me. I need to be faithful in my part, and then trust that God will show up and do his.
What skills do you hope are like riding a bike?