I remember an elderly instructor of preaching told his students that if you can do anything else, do that rather than preach. There are a few ways to interpret the statement. One could argue that if you have the ability to engage in any other activity besides preaching then go do that.
To interpret the statement that way would leave us with no preachers because all of us can do other things. Many of us are doing other things. Over my years I have learned of preachers who are doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, and other workers including my own profession of Computer Programmer. Let us not forget the preacher who wrote much of the New Testament who was a Tent maker by trade. Many of us can and do engage in other activities besides preaching.
But what the statement means to me, is that if you don’t feel that burning to preach the message, if you don’t feel that great desire to speak a word from the Lord. If God won’t let you alone and you always feel you must preach, then preach. Our preaching should come forth from an intense need to tell someone about the burning that God has placed in our hearts. Without that burning, our preaching will become perfunctory. That old preacher was right…preach becuase you have to!!