I have been a pastor for over thirty-two years. We pastors wear many hats: leader, counselor, teacher, fundraiser, business person, visionary and motivator, parent and spouse to name a few. The expectation is that we are outstanding in each of these hats which is, at best, only remotely possible. Each of us has strengths, weaknesses, and varying degrees of experience which dictate the degree of our effectiveness.
The one obvious omission from the list is the hat that we must work diligently to wear well: the hat of preacher.
Preaching God’s word is the single most important aspect of the high calling to pastor God’s precious people. Preaching that moves people to follow Jesus is hard work. Preaching that pleases God is hard work.
This article is not about how to preach. There are many who are far more qualified to write on the how-to of the subject. This article deals more with what we preach.
There has possibly never been a time when biblical preaching is more crucial to the Body of Christ than the present.
Should preachers get political?
The world has gone crazy. Marriage is being redefined. Gender is being redefined. Right and wrong are being turned inside-out. Truth is becoming relative. Human life is diminishing in importance. Violence is escalating. Immorality abounds. Our institutions are crumbling under the weight of distrust. Pandemics continue, political unrest is at unprecedented levels, and a globalist worldview tells us that one-world governance is the answer.
How long has it been since you preached or heard a sermon on a biblical perspective of abortion or Critical Race Theory? Have you ever presented a biblical take on homosexuality, or gender identity, or biblical marriage as between a man and woman? Does the Bible speak on such issues as borders or a One-World Government?
Perhaps the bigger question is: Should we be preaching on these topics?
What does God want from preachers?
Some would answer that topical preaching is not preaching at all. Others would suggest we stay away from these topics because they are too political. After all, politics has no place in the church. Really? Do we stay away from a biblical and moral issue just because it happens to also be a hot political issue?
What does God want from us, his preachers? That is the biggest question.
It’s obvious by now that I believe he is looking for people who will boldly speak truth from the pulpit—preachers who will risk making some people angry or uncomfortable. You don’t have to scream and condemn. Just telling the truth will have that impact on some.
This is a time for prophetic preaching. This is the season for well-researched, clearly presented biblical truth about what our congregations are facing every day. We are responsible to God for what we preach. We are responsible to the flock, with whom we have been entrusted, to help them navigate these tumultuous times.
You may very well lose some attendees. We have. But we have had far more respond by thanking us for being bold enough to speak truth. Our children and grandchildren are in such need of biblical truth and of parents and grandparents who will pass truth to them.
- Never assume your congregation knows what the Bible says on issues.
- Do your research. Your sermons will generate questions and you need to answer intelligently. Know the subject.
- Do not preach with an angry spirit.
- Always offer grace, redemption, and hope.
- Always be aware that some in your congregation are struggling with these very issues.
A call for prophetic preaching
Several months ago, our church decided to tackle the issues of abortion, sexual and gender identity, and the reality that our world is moving toward a globalist, one-world agenda. We preached on these things and wrote the curriculum for our small groups, children through adults. The whole emphasis lasted six weeks. We didn’t condemn anyone. We just preached what the Bible says about these things. The response was overwhelmingly positive, especially from parents and grandparents.
It’s important to note that our church is in the conservative Deep South and, admittedly, it is easier to speak on these issues down here. You would, however, be surprised at how “woke” even our southern culture is becoming. I hope we would be as bold if we were located on the East or West Coasts of our country. I think we would be.
I want to encourage you to be prophetic in your preaching. You don’t have to scream and shout—just speak biblical truth even on the tough issues.
Our times demand it. God expects it.
Our work is not to merely speak to felt needs. Our work is to equip our people to survive and thrive in an increasingly hostile world.