Forming the Heart of the Preacher
Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College & Seminary, has spent many years mentoring pastors and teaching homiletics here at Heritage. During this time, he says that he came to the realization that helping preachers preach better is more than just teaching them how to prepare and present sermons. He came to see that there is a need to prepare preacher’s souls to proclaim God’s Word.
“I realized the need to help preachers face the heart-level tests that come to us as preachers,” says Dr. Reed. “These tests, though commonly experienced by preachers, are not commonly addressed.”
This is the heart behind Dr. Reed’s recently released book, The Heart of the Preacher. Throughout the book, Reed sets out to describe and pinpoint a number of tests of the preacher’s heart. He draws attention to a number of common struggles that face preachers today: ambition, insecurity, criticism, comparison, laziness and a number of others. The remaining chapters of the book are devoted to providing a number of pastoral and practical tips, aimed at helping preachers develop regular habits to protect their hearts to serve effectively.
Though there are many books and resources that help preachers work out the mechanics and structure their sermons clearly and from the text, The Heart of the Preacher takes a different approach by focusing on personal heart preparation and transformation.
Dr. Reed explains that the challenges faced by many preachers are awkward to acknowledge. Though this may be the case, he feels these struggles of the heart are important to address for the health of someone’s preaching ministry.
“The condition and character of a preacher’s heart plays a big part in the spiritual impact of the preacher’s sermon,” says Dr. Reed. “Since God tests the heart, as we read in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, we must be concerned with our heart preparation not just our sermon preparation.”
By highlighting struggles along with the proactive ways to fight these challenges, Dr. Reed hopes his book will be a resource that will help those in preaching ministries keep their hearts strong.
“My prayer is that preachers and teachers will read the book and have their hearts stretched and strengthened so they can better serve Christ’s Church as they proclaim God’s Word,” says Dr. Reed.