It would be nice if I could claim that I always have pure motives when I preach, and I’m not swayed by self-ambition or a desire to please people. However, the reality is that I’m as easily swayed by selfish desires as anyone else…and so are you.
Therefore, you have to be intentional about stopping yourself from preaching for selfish gain or to please people.
Forget Your Pride:
We all know that our goal in ministry isn’t to impress people with our skills. However, it’s so easy to fall into the pattern of preaching to impress. It’s so easy to change your sermon to avoid doing anything which would drive people off.
When you preach for the sake of pride, you aren’t preaching to minister to hurting people or make God look great; you’re preaching to make you look great.
Forget Your Critics:
If you’re doing anything of significance, you’ll soon be hit with criticism (whether it’s deserved or not). Don’t preach to satisfy critics. One of the easiest ways to sideline your ministry is to give in to the loudest critic.
If you start preaching to satisfy critics, the goal of your ministry changes from “Glorifying God” or “Teaching the Word” (however, you state your goal) to “Speaking for 30-40 minutes without offending anyone” or “Speaking for 30 minutes without getting any criticism.” I don’t know of anyone who’s gone into ministry so they can work hard to avoid receiving criticism.
This isn’t to say you should ignore all criticisms. When someone who loves you and believes in your ministry raises a valid criticism, LISTEN! But you don’t want to give in to every person who’s got something negative to say.
Remember the Audience:
Yesterday’s blog was all about this point. Every time you preach, you need to remember all that is at stake for your audience.
- You have the message which saves marriages
- You have the message which removes addictions
- You have the message which removes guilt
- You have the message which saves souls
Remember that when you preach.
People get nervous before preaching all the time. It’s normally for prideful reason. They’ thinking about the people in the room. They’re not thinking about how God is listening.
- Are you scared you’re going to handle the Word accurately?
- Are you scared of what God thinks?
- Are you truly preaching to glorify God?
- Are you preaching to please God?