Will Willimon writes so well, and so economically, that when trying to quote, it’s hard to figure what to leave out.
He refers to the need for pastor/preachers to have courage because “Gospel preaching on Sunday requires finding a way to talk about matters the congregation has excluded from conversation all week.
The need for courage to have that conversation is not because the pastor/preacher fears the congregation and their reaction; no the need to have courage is because the mission Jesus has entrusted us with is so daunting. But Jesus knows we find it daunting, and reassures us.
From Leading With The Sermon:
Why did Jesus tell [the disciples] not to fear? Jesus says, “I am going to take back the world, turn everything upside down in dramatic revolution, and reclaim the kingdom of God. And guess who is going to help me?” He then commands them not to be fearful; it takes guts to work with Jesus.
Fear of public speaking always makes the top of the list of phobias. Preachers get the shakes not out of fear of our audience, but due to Jesus. The message he commissions us to deliver is not for the faint of heart. Intestinal fortitude is required to preach provocative Jesus.
William H Willimon, Leading With The Sermon, Fortress Press, 2020, pgs 27.