See, I think you really have two options. You can either be—as you preach—like a garden hose or a tree. A garden hose transmits water. Water goes through it, but it doesn’t change the hose at all. Some people try and preach that way. “This is a job. It’s a task. I’m going to give these people the information that they need, and I’ll give it to them, all right. It won’t change me. I’ll just be a garden hose; I’ll just be a conduit to get this information out.” I don’t think that’s what God wants from us.
I think He wants us to be [trees]. I think He wants us to take in some of that water. I think He gives us the privilege of learning, studying, and communicating biblical truth so that we can be transformed in the image of Christ. I think you need to grow and be nourished in God’s Word. I think you have to allow it to change you. How dare we tell people to take a biblical text seriously that we have not taken seriously? Come on, isn’t that hypocritical? Don’t become Pharisees. Let’s not do that. Look inward. “God, what do you want to do in me because I have encountered this truth this week? What are you saying to me?”
J. Kent Edwards, CM103 Invitation to Biblical Preaching II: Preaching Biblical Sermons, Logos Mobile Education (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).