Preaching To Wake Up Your People

I had to work very late. It was 1:30am.

Yep, 1:30 am.

For a guy in his mid-40s, that meant two things. I was going to be sleep walking that day. and I I had to work till 1:30am. First, it meant that I was going to be sleep walking the whole day.

Second, it meant that I was going to go to miss anything that needed to be done later the next day.

I tried a lot of things, but I did nothing that day. I then went straight to sleep when I got home.

As I think of this story, I had to ask myself, are our people sleep walking through their lives? Is your church sleep walking? And if they are, what can we do as preachers to wake them up?

The number one thing you can do to wake your people up is to preach for change.

Someone is thinking, “What are you talking about Cox?”

Well, first of all, I ain’t talking about the kind of preaching that makes you comfortable where you are in your life. No! I ain’t talking about status quo preaching.

I ain’t talking about the kind of preaching that makes people feel like that the Christian life will not change you. No, I ain’t talking about the kind of preaching that only talks about the benefits but never the responsibilities.

That kind of preaching will put you back to sleep. I’m talking about the kind of preaching that encourages you to get up and start doing.

That kind of preaching and living is why folks look at the church with derision. We certainly have a form of Godliness but deny the power. The Power. The Power! (2 Timothy 3:5)

There is too much of that kind of preaching today. Has Jesus changed you? Do you expect Jesus to change your people? Are you tired of just sleep walking? Are you tired of talking to sleep walking people?

I’m talking about transformative preaching that changes you, your people, and even those who are in contact with you.

That kind of preaching is what is at the root of what I teach at Preaching is war. It is time that we started acting like we are on the victor’s side!



Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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