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Zack Eswine--whose blog is well worth subscribing to, especially if you’re a pastor--has very helpful counsel for those who share this common frustration: “Sometimes we may feel there is no point in preaching because we do not see the kinds of changes in our hearers or ourselves that we had hoped for.”

His whole post is worth reading. Here’s an excerpt:

All is not lost when the after-sermon desert offers no water.

This moment may have been meant to prepare some for what they have yet to face.

It may be meant to call out to others months from now when they are more heedless or needy than they are today.

It may serve as one more evidence of the hardness of one's heart.

It may serve as one more piece in a puzzle God is putting together for another--the picture will not complete for some time, but completeness will not happen without the corner-piece offered by the sermon today.

Those who are changed seemingly in a moment by your sermon today have had multiple moments of God's working prior. Take heart. There is seed there though it lay beneath the ground. Step out into the barren field dear friend, and pray for His rain to fall.

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5 thoughts on “Pastors: Do You Ever Doubt That God Always Uses Your Sermon for His Purposes?”

  1. Zack was my favorite prof at Covenant Seminary.

  2. Div Murphy says:

    I also believe it is very real possibility that on a any particular Sunday, not one person listening will really receive your message or will remember it a month down the line.

    I’m fairly sure this happens periodically, if not regularly for almost all pastors/preachers.

  3. I Corinthians 3:6-7 comes to mind:

    “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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