If You Think Your First Time Preaching Was Awkward...

From Al Mohler's He Is Not Silent: Preaching In A Postmodern Age:

Within a matter, Spurgeon would preach his first sermon, tricked into doing so by an older friend who asked him to go to a Teversham cottage the next Sunday evening, for a young man was to preach there for the first time and would be glad to have the company. "That was a cunningly devised sentence," Spurgeon later wrote, for "a request to go and preach would have met with a decided negative, but merely to act as company to a good brother who did not like to be lonely, and perhaps might ask us to give out a hymn or to pray, was not at all a difficult matter, and the request, understood in that fashion, was cheerfully compiled with."

Here's Spurgeon's recollection of the story:

Our Sunday-school work was over, and tea had been taken, and we set off through Barnwell, and away along the Newmarket-road, with a gentleman some few years our senior. We talked of good things, and at last we expressed our hope that he would feel the presence of God while preaching. He seemed to start, and assured us that he had never preached in his life, and could not attempt such a thing: he was looking to his young friend, Mr. Spurgeon, for that. This was a new view of the situation, and I could only reply that I was no minister, and that even if I had been I was quite unprepared. My companion only repeated that HE, even in a more emphatic sense, was not a preacher, that he would help ME in any other part of the service, but that there would be no sermon unless I gave them one.

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