There is a great dilemma all preachers face: who are we preaching for?
The theological answer is God. We are preaching because we are God's instruments to proclaim His word to the church. We are God's ambassadors and therefore we are called to speak what God calls us to.
The practical answer is that we are preaching for the congregation. We are called to proclaim God's word in a way that is captivating and relevant to the congregation. Because, ultimately, truth, that doesn't connect with people where they are will have no impact.
I work hard to do everything I can to preach God's word faithfully. That's the reason why I study, read, and pray about what God would have me to preach.
I also work very hard to make sure that I've done everything I can to connect God's word to where the people are. It is shameful that a pastor could take the most exciting truth of God's word and make it as dull as possible.
The preaching task needs to have both of these audiences in mind. God's truth must be communicated in such a way that God's people can understand and apply it.
The reason why I write all this because I've struggling with the thought, am I communicating God's word effectively? I am wondering, is it making a difference? Every once in a while, as I am sitting in my office preparing for the sermon, there's a voice that asks, "Do you really think this is going to make a difference?"
And I have to push that voice back and declare, I will be faithful to God. I will do my best to communicate God's word in a way that relates to our people.
My task is to be faithful. The results are up to God. Results are not my responsibility. My responsibility is to be faithful and that is what I will continue to strive to be.