He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.(John 21:16)
Often times, a young believer admires the pulpit ministry and begins to desire to preach. The glories of the pulpit hide the arduous study, the striving in prayer and labor, the correction and rebuke of the preacher’s soul, fervent pursuit of being conformed to the image of Christ, and the necessary engrafting of the word in order to speak as the oracle of God. All this must take place prior to preparing the sermon. The man must be prepared before the sermon is proclaimed.
But this is just one aspect of ministry. The ministry involves the washing of the feet of the flock of God. A preacher must not just love the pulpit but must love the ones whom are hearing from the pulpit. A good shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ smells like sheep. He has humbled himself to serve God among His flock. It is a task that one can only conduct in the strength of the Savior. Let us all develop a love for both instruction and a love for the flock of whom our Lord gave His life.
To love to preach is one thing, to love those to whom we preach is quite another. The trouble with some of us is that we love preaching, but we are not always careful to make sure that we love the people to whom we are actually preaching. If you lack this element of compassion for the people you will also lack the pathos which is a very vital element in all true preaching. Our Lord looked out upon the multitudes and “saw them as sheep without a shepherd,” and was “filled with compassion.” And if you know nothing of this you should not be in a pulpit. (Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 92)