word of god

What Pastors Think While Preaching

images-2Ever wonder what your pastor thinks while preaching? Keeping in mind that your pastors are just people, here’s a lighter look at what might be going through their minds.

Top 10 things pastors think while preaching…

1) I hope I pronounce, “Jaareoregim,” right.

2) Wonder what they fought about on the way here?

3) Wow. Thought that was a killer line. (crickets)

4) He’s asleep already? 

5) I’m pretending not to hear that phone ringing… again.

6) Okay, that made no sense! Where was I?

7) Hey, they’re new. (Last Sunday was so much better... shoot!

8) I knew I should have gone before I got up here.

9) I hope the tech team can edit that out.

10) Even I’m bored! How do I land this plane?

Those are a few of the less-than-spiritual thoughts I’ve had over the years! How about you? What goes through your mind while speaking? If you aren’t a preacher, what are you thinking while your pastor is speaking?  Share your thoughts in the Reply section below…

Preachers, Polish and Passion

images-15How do you like your preaching? If you are a pastor, how do you communicate the Word of God on a weekly basis? Does your style even matter? Consider how polish and passion can compliment one another…

Some preachers are full of passion from start to finish. You may not be able to decipher three main points (or even one), but they have our attention. They are master story-tellers and can leave people laughing and crying within moments of each other.

Other preachers deliver their message with a prepared sense of control and clarity of content. They could give a “Ted Talk” with the best of them. There seems to have been a real shift away from “fire and brimstone” towards this style in the past decade or more.

Most of us fall decidedly on one side or the other. And, why not? It’s easier at an extreme. However, finding a balance between the two takes a little more effort.

In defense of passion. God created us emotional beings. If you aren’t “feeling it,” then neither will anyone else. Authentic emotion communicates an attractive and humble vulnerability. Those listening may need more time to discern and process your content, but they will have no trouble believing you believe it, and that will go a long way towards them believing it, too. I would suggest that if you are so “professional” that you have never left the platform feeling like you were a little too emotional, then perhaps there is some pride that needs dealt with? 

In defense of polish. Let’s face it, you just can’t get past some preacher’s delivery. Their style is either like watching paint dry or an irate baseball manager after a blown call at home plate. Being polished is really about being prepared. Rehearse your message. Be so prepared that when the time comes, you can preach with passion and not lose the point, or the audience, or both. If we truly believe the message and Messenger of the Gospel is the only saving grace for human kind, then it is worth any effort to deliver it in a well-prepared package.

Go with your strength. In other words, be you. After recognizing and working enough on the weakness in your preaching, focus on your strength. Learn to leverage your passion in a way that peaks at the right time. Do this in order to motivate your audience to leave inspired to live the Good News you are sharing. Learn to leverage your polish in a way that informs not only the head, but also the heart. Interestingly enough, history is full of pulpiteers who have preached at both extremes. Nevertheless, the Spirit of God has used both powerfully to do what He wanted done in the moment.

In the end I think most people would rather be moved than impressed. (I heard that one on “The Voice” while writing this…) However, nothing moves people to life change like the pure Word of God. Make sure your style doesn’t distract from nor overshadow the essential substance of the message that alone can save.

How do you deliver your message? What would you suggest to others concerning passion and polish? Leave your advice in the Reply section below!

FOCUS 40 Devotional 15

Didn’t Our Hearts Burn? Day 15

“They said to each other, ‘Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’” —Luke 24:32 NLT

Sometimes you need a change of perspective to hear what God is saying. There were two guys who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus after the resurrection. He walked with them, but they didn’t recognize him. He asked them a question, and they replied, “You must be the only one in Jerusalem who doesn’t know about these things”. That must have seemed ironic when they thought about it later. They thought they were going to enlighten the stranger, but they were in line for the surprise of their lives.

Jesus in resurrected form walked with them but was hidden to them. He explained the Scriptures from Moses through the prophets. They saw the events, but they didn’t understand what was going on. As they got into the Scriptures their hearts began to burn. It started to make sense. They began to put the pieces together, and the more they learned, the more they wanted to learn.

When they got to where they were going, Jesus was going to keep on walking, but they implored him to stay and eat so they could continue the conversation. In the process of breaking bread, Jesus revealed himself to them. They were so excited, they turned around and went back to Jerusalem that same night to tell the others Jesus was the risen Messiah! Can you imagine? They were some of the first to see the risen Savior!

How long has it been since your heart burned within you as you discussed the Scriptures? It started because they were willing to talk about their faith with a stranger. It is amazing what can happen when you give God a chance to show up in your conversations. Remember that when you bring the Word of God up in a conversation, it is a living Word. If you give God a chance to show up in a discussion, it is an opportunity to watch truth reveal itself. It can change the perspective of everyone in the conversation.

Why is it that we pray for opportunities to share Christ with others and then talk about things like the weather, traffic and everything but the Scriptures? The Bible promises that God’s Word never returns void, but it accomplishes God’s purpose. So why don’t we talk more about it? When we do it is powerful and life changing just like it was for these disciples.

Will you commit to study God’s Word, not just for yourself, but also for those with whom you will cross paths? When you get into conversations, will you bring up God’s Word? If you do, you might just feel your heart burning with new passion and insight. You might experience the Holy Spirit giving you new insight even as you talk. And you might find yourself breathless later as you tell your friends about how Jesus showed up in the conversation. Do you need a change in perspective? You don’t study the Scriptures for yourself but to share them with others. It’s about Transforming Hearts…Transforming Lives!

Lord, meet us today as we study the Scriptures. Make them come alive in us and give us the courage to share them with others. Show up in those conversations and make the truth burn with us. Thank you.

 Rev. Gary Kendall, Lead Pastor, Indian Creek Community Church, Olathe, Kansas

Copyright © 2011 by Church of God Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. This document may be downloaded, reprinted, or distributed free of charge for ministry and educational purposes provided that the copyright notice on this page appears without modification. The contents of the booklet may not be modified or abridged in any way, and this electronic version of the booklet MAY NOT BE RESOLD in any print or electronic format.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked Phillips are taken from The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips, 1962 edition, published by Harper Collins.