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You’ll Get Better

My friend, Justin, tweeted something recently that stuck out to me.  It was something about how the first sermon he preached was so bad that the only person who liked it was his mother.  I know exactly how he feels.

By now, I have preached hundreds of times.  I still get a little nervous when I stand up to speak before people and proclaim the word of God.  It’s an awesome responsibility to take scripture and say, “Thus saith the Lord.”  I’ll let you in on a secret, though:  Most preachers are terrible at first.

At first we want to mimic other people.  It might be our pastor, who we’ve been listening to for two or three times each week.  It might be Billy Graham, or some other nationally known preacher who we listen to.

I don’t remember what my first sermon was about.  I do know that I worked on it everyday for about two weeks.  I had pages of notes.  I poured a ton of work into it.  I anticipated it lasting about thirty minutes.  I barely made fifteen.

I wondered if I would ever be any good.  If it takes 10,000 hours to master anything, I’m barely halfway there.  Maybe someday I’ll actually be decent.


It’s the same with writing a blog.  I’ve been going at it for over five years now, three years for this particular blog.  I’ve written well over 1,000 posts.  Most of them are terrible.

Guess what?

Anything we do is like that.

We have to be willing to be bad at something before we can ever be good.  In fact, we may have to be willing to bad at something for a long time before we’re ever good at it.

So, here’s my advice.  Whatever it is that you want to do, however you want to glorify the Lord, just do it.  You’ll get better.

I was just asked to head up a ministry at church.  I won’t be good at it today.  Or tomorrow.  Or the next day.

I hope to be good at it after my first year on the job.

Guess what?  I’ll get better each day and each week that I put the work and the time into it.

Whatever it is that you want to do for the Lord, be willing to be bad at it at first.  You’ll get better.

Have you ever been willing bad at something until you get better?

  1. March 10, 2014 at 9:07 am

    i was bad at basketball when i started. I got better with practice. My first sermon was horrible. Terrible horrible. But i got better. Okay, so at least I go past the 7 minute mark and don’t drop my notes off the pulpit (I don’t use one now). I would like to believe God has helped me become a better preacher.

  2. March 10, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Mark Batterson points out that it takes 10,000 hours to become great at something. That’s a lot of hours. My blog and preacher are perfect examples of starting off bad. I loved them at the time but I’m so thankful I’ve grown since then.

    • March 11, 2014 at 5:21 am

      10,000 hours is 40 hours a week for 5!years….whoa

  3. March 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    That is one of my biggest struggles, and I know it’s tied to my need for approval. I’ve been blogging for a while, and have gotten really close to throwing in the iPad. Thanks for the encouragement to keep going.

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