Maintaining Your Sense of Wonder

Every year around this time my family engages in a tradition that started when I was in fifth grade: our yearly Thanksgiving week pilgrimage to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Each year My parents, my sister and her family, and Theresa and I pile into a beach front house for week of fishing, playing, and laughing.

When I was growing up, this was a magical place, full of adventures to take part in, treasures to find, and new discoveries to behold. There was a sense of wonder that was only overshadowed by our awe when we discovered something new… whether it e some sort of crazy fish, a shipwreck, or the coolest fort ever.

As I grew older, my take on our trip begin to lose its sense of wonder… mostly because I was in high school and thought I was too cool to have a sense of wonder about anything. The trip became a routine… something I did because it is always done at this time of year. That phase ended when I began to bring my own four wheel drive vehicle down with me. Once again, the trip was filled with wonder as I was able to set out on my own, driving up and down the beaches, finding my own adventures.

Lately I have found myself in many conversations about some of the routines and patterns of ministry life. It seems as though every conversation comes back to preaching. Regardless of what is going on in your neighborhood, your family life, or in your soul, Sunday comes every seven days.

The challenge, from my perspective, is resisting the temptation to turn preaching into a formulaic practice that you engage in every seven days, and maintaining your sense of wonder throughout the process. Instead of preaching by rote, I’d love to hear stories of how YOU intentionally keep fresh and maintain a sense of wonder through the process. I’d also love to hear how you have negotiated the seasons where preaching became rote and stale.

How do YOU maintain YOUR sense of wonder while preaching weekly?


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.

  • Chet

    The majority of my preaching is in series in Books of the Bible. What I have experienced is that I don’t get a say in what is coming next. I get greeted with a text and forced to say, “Okay God, what is this?” I let Him reveal the deeper surprises, forcing me to wrestle with the text personally. It is after that that I find He begins to reveal what I am to say to the congregation.

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