Artikelen | 23
2003 Weten ze dat je van hen houdt?
Door: Kenton C. Anderson
Anytime anyone has ever done a survey as to things people are afraid of, "public speaking" leads the list. Apparantly we terrify each other. The prospect of standing in front of a crowd of our fellow human beings in the attempt to speak coherently is a prospect worse than death. Preachers are not immune to this fear. It may, in fact, be more pronounced among those who make their living behind the sacred desk.
There are many reasons. We want to do well. We want to help people hear from God and we're scared, somehow, we'll mess it up. Mostly, we want people to like us. Ego, shouldn't really have a place in preaching, but sadly, it does. We want the respect and good will of those we preach to, not only because it helps to weight our message with authority, but also because it helps us feel more confident about what we are saying. It is preferable, we feel, if people like us and if they like our preaching.
More important, however, than whether the listener likes the preacher is whether the preacher loves the listener. 1 John 4:18 reminds us that love and fear do not co-exist. They are opposites - repelling each other like the positive and negative poles of a magnet. What this means is that you can't love what you are afraid of. If you are afraid of your listeners you can't love them, and if you can't love them, you can't very well preach to them. The opposite, is also true. If you love them, you cannot truly fear them.
I learned this lesson early in my preaching ministry. I had my first regular preaching opportunity at the ripe old age of 21. I served a small congregation in an interim role, preaching three times a week for eleven months. I was smart enough to know that I was not going to overwhelm them with wisdom. Most of those people were old enough to be my grandparents. I couldn't tell them much. Of course I could open the Bible for them. And I could love them.
That was the key. As long as the people knew I loved them, they would forgive my multitude of homiletic sins. I had to love them, but more than that, they had to know that I loved them. I had to tell them so and I had to show them by my actions.
When you love people, it is difficult to fear them. It becomes much easier to preach to them.