In 2010, I began my pursuit of a Doctor of Ministry degree in Preaching at Talbot Seminary. My good friend, faculty mentor and professor Dr. J. Kent Edwards referenced “Outliers” the work of Malcolm Gladwell, who stated that it takes approximately 10,000 hours to become an expert in something.
TEN THOUSAND HOURS.
There are probably exceptions to this, but I can’t think of many. 10,000 hours is a lot of hours. Assuming a preacher takes 10 hours every week to prepare and preach a sermon (which is a big assumption), that is still 1000 weeks. That is 19 years, give or take a week.
When I heard that, I was overwhelmed. How can a pastor who needs to manage board meetings, counsel hurting people, plan budgets, administrate staff, cast vision, build relationships for evangelism, champion life groups, and be a godly husband and family man have the time to become an expert preacher?
The great temptation will be to avoid becoming an expert. Be a “jack of all trades”. And you can probably be good at some of them. But you won’t be an expert.
Why be an expert preacher? Because of this fundamental belief: God speaks primarily through His Word. When I communicate what He wants to say in the clearest possible way, the same power that created the universe is unleashed into people’s lives.
Guess I’ve got some hours to put in. The clock is ticking.