The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Sermon Prep

Delivering Tough Sermons: Help for Stressing Preachers

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If you say certain things from the pulpit, it’s pretty much guaranteed that people are going to get huffy. When people get huffy, they get hostile, and sometimes that hostility is expressed in rather aggressive forms which you then become the unhappy target of. It is a fear of getting sniped at that causes good preachers to pretend to forget where their loyalties ought to lie in the critical moment. Instead of saying what God is commanding them to say, they do a major revision to His message and end up putting out a lot of useless, ego pleasing guff. When it’s over, no one knows the hack job they did on God’s message. No one’s angry, either, and the preachers think they’ve made a smart move by dodging a bullet. Well, the humans might be smiling, but the Creator of all things is more than a little irked. Can we really call it a victory when a man has just moved himself onto the wrong side of God’s patience? Read more of this post

The Offense of Relevant Preaching: Stop Editing God

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What’s wrong with the concept of relevant preaching? Everything. You see, there’s no point in fussing over relevancy unless you are the one drafting the sermon, and as soon as you’re the one doing the writing, you’ve completely lost sight of what it means to be called by God to preach. Read more of this post

Thematic Sermons: Cautions for Preachers

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Speaking God’s messages to the flock is a very serious responsibility. We shepherds need to remember that our function is merely to relay God’s messages. We don’t create them. We don’t decide for the Creator what He is in the mood to say. We don’t put words in His mouth. We don’t have the audacity to tell Him that He isn’t being politically correct. Of course some of us are doing all of these things on a regular basis because we’ve completely lost our grip on reverence. If that’s where you’re at today, you have two options: repent and get back into alignment with God or keep on as you are and get slammed with some well-deserved discipline. Read more of this post

Teaching the Flock: Three Ways We Outrage God

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The Holy Spirit is God Almighty, not your subordinate. It seriously irks the Holy Spirit when you try to tell Him what He is supposed to preach on Sunday morning, or what He’s supposed to teach in your small group or Sunday School class. Just because you’re in the mood to talk about some particular passage in the Bible doesn’t mean God is. Just because you’re impressed with some famous pastor in the Church doesn’t mean God shares your lofty opinion of the man. Many of the bestselling books we’re regurgitating from the pulpit are nothing more than foolish dribble. Popular doesn’t mean correct. And even if a book has some useful points in it, today might not be the day that the Holy Spirit wants to make those points to your particular audience. Read more of this post

Preparing a Sermon that Honors God (Guidance for Pastors)

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If you’re the real deal and not just a poser, then you have been called by God to preach. To receive such a calling means you have been authorized by God to be His Voice to the flock—could there be a higher honor? Yours is a sacred calling, and it must be treated as such. This means there is no room for compromise when it comes to preparing your Sunday sermon, your midweek Bible lesson, or anything else. When you speak as God’s shepherd, your words must be His words, no one else’s. And if you are truly called, this is not hard, for you will hear the Holy Spirit whispering His words to your soul. Read more of this post