Out of the Overflow of the Heart the Preacher Speaks

it takes TWO hands to make a heart! it takes TWO hearts to make love!Answer this question for me: How is your spiritual life?

If you are like many pastors, and you are being honest, chances are it’s not good. Most pastors would never admit it to their congregation, but many of them are struggling spiritually.

  • 72% of pastors only study the Bible when preparing a sermon.
  • 74% of pastors feel like they, themselves, are not being spiritually fed.
  • 84% of pastors say they are not very satisfied with their prayer life.
  • 80% of pastors spend less than 15 minutes a day in prayer.

As spiritual leaders, we need to make sure that first and foremost we are spiritually led. Otherwise, we become just like the pharisees – trying to teach but lacking a real connection with God. And you are probably aware of what Jesus said to them.

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
Matthew 12:34

Just as Jesus told the pharisees, the words you speak come from your heart. As your spiritual life goes, so goes your preaching. Preaching comes from the heart.

Your spiritual life shapes and molds your heart. There is a direct correlation between the condition of your spiritual life and the condition of your heart.

Preachers are like spiritual funnels. We receive a word from God, we process it and pour it out to our people. As long as we continue to allow God to pour into our lives, we will have plenty to pour out.

But if we stop allowing God to pour into us we have a problem. We can last a little while on reserves, but eventually we dry out.

So let me ask you again, how is your spiritual life? Are you allowing God to continually pour into you, or are you running dry?

If you spiritual life is suffering, don’t make the excuse that it is because you don’t have time. We make time for what we value.

If you want to preach better, you have to start with the foundation. You speak from the overflow of your heart.

You might be able to fake spiritual health for little while – many pastors do. But eventually you will run dry. Eventually people will find you out.

So, what is the condition of your heart?

Spiritual Checkup

You don’t need me to tell you how to improve spiritually. You know what you need to do. What you need is a checkup to help you identify the problem. So, here are a few questions to get you thinking.

  • Is there any unrepentant sin in your life that you need to confess? (The #1 reason people drift from God)
  • Are you spending time daily in intentional prayer? (Not just for yourself and your ministry)
  • Are you reading the Bible for yourself instead of just for your sermon? (Don’t try to combine the two)
  • When was the last time you truly worshipped God with all of your heart? (Not just in church because you are supposed to)
  • Are you taking a sabbath? (Rest is the most ignored spiritual discipline)
  • Who is helping to mentor you spiritually? (Even pastors need a pastor)

Whatever you need to do, do it. As a spiritual leader, you need to be spiritually led. Check your heart.

Other Posts from the Best Year Yet Series

  1. Make This Year Your Best Year – Start Here
  2. 5 Characteristic of Goals that Work – Set Goals
  3. The Secret to Getting Ahead on Sermon Preparation – Get Ahead
  4. How to Eliminate Bad Speaking Habits. Umm… Like… You Know? – Speak Better
  5. Lose Wight; Preach Better – Healthy Body
  6. Why a Healthy Ministry Requires a Healthy Family – Healthy Family
  7. Out of the Overflow of the Heart the Preacher Speaks – Healthy Spiritual Life
  8. 41 Ways to Risky Preaching – Try Something New
  9. You Don’t Have Time Not to Read – Read More
  10. The Secret to Winning Time Management – Accomplish More of What Matters
  11. Do You Make This One Common Preaching Mistake? – Step Away From your Desk

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