The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Preachers

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

Why You Must Come Before the Flock: Guidance for Pastors & Priests

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When you’re zealous for God and eager to please Him in this great calling He has placed on your life, that’s a wonderful thing. God delights in souls who sincerely care about pleasing Him. But while you’re learning how to juggle the many aspects of shepherding God’s flock, there’s one very important principle which you need to keep a hold of: you matter, too. It’s not just about the little lambs under your care. God didn’t call you into this role just to perpetually give and never receive. Within the context of His personal relationship with you, God says your personal spiritual development is the top priority. This means that He is always going to be teaching you personally, even as He uses you as a conduit to minister to others. As far as God is concerned, what’s going on between you and Him is far more important than what’s going on between you and anyone else. God didn’t call you into this role just to use you to benefit others. God’s primary reason for calling you to serve as one of His shepherds is to draw you closer to Him. This is an easy thing to forget, because we’re told on all sides that pleasing God means being outwardly focused. Well, as much as God wants us to love others, He wants us to love Him first. This means our focus must be inward before it is outward. We must be allowing God to nurture our own souls before we try to go nurture others on His behalf. 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

Guidance for Preachers: Understanding the Call

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What does it mean to speak for God? This is a concept that is very poorly understood in the Church today. By the time we’re done worrying about being relevant, speaking the truth in love, and walking our talk, we are totally out of touch with the Holy Spirit. If you’re going to honor God as His spokesperson, you need to flush all of this useless advice the Church puts out about how to please people and get your focus back on what really matters: pleasing God. Read more of this post

Pastors & the End Times: Guiding a Flock in Crisis

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In this post, we are specifically speaking to shepherds in the Church who are actually authorized to function as shepherds by God. We’re not talking to all of you defiant rebels who are using the pulpit to exalt yourself and put words in God’s mouth that He never said. To grasp hold of the shepherding staff without God’s permission is to try and manipulate the flock for your own selfish gain. God is extremely protective over His flock. Those of you who are currently abusing the shepherding role are already in big trouble with Him and nothing we say in this post applies to you, because God does not consider you to be a legitimate leader in His flock. To you, all we have to say is this: repent and go home. Perhaps if you actually start submitting to the Holy Spirit, He’ll find some use for you. In the meantime, you’re just deadweight. Read more of this post

Praying for Your Flock in a Way that Honors God (Guidance for Pastors & Priests)

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You’re one of God’s shepherds and you pray for the sheep He has put under your care.

But why? What exactly is it that you’re hoping to accomplish by praying for your parishioners?

Certainly you’ve been taught to believe this is oh so important to do. But if you’re going to keep progressing in your own walk with God, it’s time to stop and think critically about what role prayer should have in your life.

Let’s sit you down at a table with God. He asks, “Why do you keep praying to Me about the souls I’ve brought into your congregation?”

What is your answer going to be? “Because I think You _________.”

How do you complete this sentence in a way that doesn’t insult God? You can’t. The real reason you pray to God about your parishioners is because you think He needs your guidance. And the reason you think He needs your guidance is because you don’t believe He’s doing the best He could do with all of His God powers. If you did, why would you advise Him? Why would you try to stick your oar into the water and give Him some helpful instruction? 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

Praying for the Sick

Praying for the Sick

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In the Church today we spend a lot of time praying for the sick to get well. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. When they do, we rejoice in the power of prayer. When they don’t, we feel confused, frustrated and sad. We wonder where we went wrong. If you’re tired of riding this roller coaster, or if you’re wondering how to respond to a sick friend who is asking for your prayerful intervention, then this post is for you. Read more of this post

Shepherd Burnout: Help for Pastors

Shepherd Burnout: Help for Pastors

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This post is speaking to souls who know they have been called to shepherd God’s flock, but they are struggling with symptoms of burnout: depression, bitterness, exhaustion, and guilt.

God has a list of what He expects from the shepherds of His flock. Your sheep have a list as well, and theirs is a lot longer. Your sheep expect you to have all of the answers, to always be available, to rush to their side in every crisis, and to give them infallible advice.

Nice of them to be so reasonable, isn’t it? Read more of this post