An orthodox preacher of the Word without passion is like a high-voltage wire without a generating station. Here’s a quote from Albert Mohler’s book The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters:
The most faithful and effective pastors are those who are driven by deep and energizing convictions. Their preaching and teaching are fueled by their passionate beliefs and sense of calling. With eternity hanging in the balance, they know what to do. They see every neighborhood as a mission field and every individual as someone who needs to hear the gospel. They cannot wait until Sunday comes and they can enter the pulpit again, ready to set those convictions loose. (page 54)
This makes me think of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was sent mostly with messages of judgment — there wasn’t a lot of good news that he could bring for the foreseeable future. Reading Jeremiah from front to back can be a bit of a downer. Yet with that kind of message, Jeremiah said that he was compelled to prophesy and do it with vigour. He said in Jeremiah 20:9, “If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” If that was true for Jeremiah, the prophet of so much doom and judgment, how much more shouldn’t it be true of preachers today entrusted with the good news of Jesus Christ?