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When preparing a sermon, do you focus on pleasing God or your church members?

Ministers of the Gospel have the responsibility to preach the Word without compromise. This is especially true when dealing with controversial issues—issues that are sure to ruffle some feathers.

Second Timothy 4:2 in The Amplified Bible says:
…Preach the Word…whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. (Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as a preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.) And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
Avoiding topics such as lust, divorce, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, and strife for the sake of "keeping peace in the pews," will lead you to compromise the biblical truths people need for deliverance and freedom from sin.

The Bible speaks of a time when people will not tolerate sound instruction (2 Tim. 4:3). I believe that we are living in that time.

Many people in the body of Christ are not interested in hearing hard-hitting messages that convict them of wrongdoing, point them in the right direction, and then challenge them to develop their character.

Instead, they enjoy hearing watered-down, "feel good" sermons that justify their actions. Your duty is to teach the uncompromised message of the Gospel that will bring them to repentance and usher them into a life of abundance.

Let Them Know You Love Them
How do you do this? Begin by examining your life. Are you walking in love? When ministers walk in the love of God, they don't think twice about tackling "sticky" issues from the pulpit.

Something happens in the hearts of a congregation when they know that the minister loves them. That kind of compassion turns a hard heart into fertile ground. This is how Jesus was able to perform so many miracles.

Matthew 14:14 says,
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Along with the development of your love walk, be passionate about what you do. Passion is contagious. You will hold people's attention when they are convinced that you believe what you are saying. Your passion will cause you to no longer focus on the message.

Love and passion will provoke your creative side. They will prompt you to bring in props, use illustrations or even roll around on the floor—whatever it takes for the congregation to "get it."

Remember, God is the One to Whom you must answer regarding what you teach from the pulpit. He is the One you must obey and please. Therefore, don't be afraid to preach the Word of God exactly as He instructs, without compromise.

You'll be surprised at the results!

First published in the July 2003 issue of
Changing Your World Magazine
Copyright © Creflo Dollar Ministries All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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