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How to Preach Transformative Sermons

Prophet Amos Picture of a Transformative Prophet
Prophet Amos Picture example of Transformative Sermons

The Prophet Amos

Great preaching has in mind not merely inspiration, but the preaching of transformative sermons. We do not desire to make people who merely know more of the Bible, although that is important and should be emphasized. We definitely do not desire simply to make people shout, although that may be the unavoidable conclusion of our much powerful preaching. No we seek transformation through sermons that call for transformation.

Preacher Not Orator Or Lecturer

Preachers do not simply perform our written orations with great oratorical skill. We all have heard preachers with all the skills of great orators, but something in missing. The people shout, but there is something missing. The people are happy and sometimes feel as though this is an important component of the African American tradition. They love to hear the preacher and they may even understand the moment as merely something to enjoy as folk art. the worship service is nothing more than a show for this individual hearer and the hearer may not be changed. No we need transformative sermons.

Then there are the Bible lecturers who leave the people with a book full of notes. The people may know great things about Israel. They may know esoteric facts about Melchizedek and Revelation’s prophecies. However, great preaching is not merely about knowing more facts. It is about turning the page and becoming a transformed follower of the almighty power of God.

Holy Ghost Needed In Transformative Sermons

But here is the key, there are those preachers who may not have the eloquence of some of the “princes of the pulpit.” They may not have all the theological and biblical knowledge of some of those who turn the pulpit into a classroom, but they know something about the Most High God. They know something about the Spirit. They can sing with the slaves “I know I’ve been changed, angels in heaven done changed my name.”

How do they do this? There are two things I want to emphasize here. First, I want to emphasize the importance of a vital and growing connection to God through the enlightenment of the holy Ghost. The preacher needs to know the holy Ghost and needs to be connected to the third person of the Godhead. Don’t fall into the trap of attempting to preach in your own power. Negros may shout, or maybe they will be informed, or maybe both, but will they be changed by a transformative sermon?

Preacher Must Be Changed By Transformative Sermon

To ensure transformational preaching, the preacher must have such a message that calls the preacher first of all to be changed. Stop only preaching about how someone else needs to get better…Have you ever preached in such a way that you have been convicted of your own sins and shortcomings? If not, you might see that your people have not either. so first, we need a vital connection to the Spirit. Next we need messages that touch our own hearts before we preach them.

Finally, if we are seeking to preach transformative sermons, then we need to make a scary and error prone move. We must have the audacity to move from what God did in the past tense, to what God is doing. Yes, we might say the wrong thing. Yes we might get it wrong from time to time, but there is much preaching that never says what God is doing today. If you want to preach a transformative sermon then you must first of all understand what the text said and what God did, but move from there to having the audacity to say what God is doing today, in your context, at your congregation.

Contemporary God In Transformative Sermons

There is a piety that leaves God in the book but does not allow God into the present. Does God today work with the weak and the hurting? Does God today, help us overcome the sins that bind us? Does God today attack structures of inequality and evil? Does God today stand with the hungry? That is the move that we are to make if we are to preach transformative sermons.

So let us seek that connection to the Holy Ghost. Let us preach messages that call for transformation and change in us as well as our people. and finally, let us have the audacity to name God and God’s work in our present circumstances. Then we will be preaching not as a “bible lecturer” or as a “orator,” but as a “prophet.” As a prophet, we will preach transformative sermons!

How To Preach Without Converting Anybody

baptismAccording to Charles Finney, the way to preach without converting anybody is to:

Preach on every doctrine that centers the attention on man rather than Jesus. Teach every doctrine that makes man the center of God’s attention rather than God the center of man’s devotion. Tell people only what God will do for them.

Avoid preaching about the necessity of a radical change of heart, through the truth revealed to the heart by the agency of the Holy Spirit.

Let your supreme motive to be popular with all people, then, of course, your preaching will be suited for that purpose, and not to convert souls to Christ.

A pastor friend of mine told me that there are many so called “great” preachers who preach “great” sermons, but their preaching does not seem to have the conversion power only given by the Holy Ghost.

Too many preachers are simply preaching sermons about “God hooking you up.” Their sermons are about what humanity is going to get. It is about the money, jobs, fame, etc that God has for those who are God’s own.

Jesus is turned into Santa Clause in this facsimile of the Christian faith. This weak approximation of true Christianity is a dominant part of current Christianity, but real Christianity radically confronts humanity and includes both what God has done for humanity and what God has empowered humanity to do. It is good news of a new order. It is not your way to a life of ease and comfort without ever taking up a cross. (Mark 8:34). If we are to truly make a difference in our preaching we must move past the temptation to tell people what they want to hear towards preaching with they need to hear to be changed.

How To Preach on Issues

There are many issues to preach on. However, sometimes when we preach on issues we are not really preaching sermons. What we say may be enlightening, it may be helpful, but is it truly a sermon?

In this article, I want to give some rules to keep in mind when preaching on issues.

It is Still a Sermon

You are preaching a sermon. By that I mean all of the “rules” are still in effect. You still need a solid gospel claim. You still need to celebrate the Good News. You still need to solidly exegete the scripture.

In other words, you cannot simply tell the truth about a particular issue and sit down, sermons require that the truth be experienced by the people and that it be related to Gospel truth. As one preacher said, what you are saying may be “true” but is it “the Truth!” In other words don’t just give truthful facts, instead give very important TRUTH that people can live by.

Do not Celebrate Punishment or Condemnation in the Celebration

There may be times in your sermon when you must refer to condemnation, but preachers should always remember that this is God’s “strange act.” ISA 28:21-22. God takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked and neither should we.

The celebration is that portion of the sermon that is dedicated to celebrating the good news. Do not use it as a place to celebrate the destruction of evil doers. Find more at this link:

Don’t Only Deal in Negative

When you are teaching on issues, we can often spend all of our time talking about how something is not good. However, we should spend some time speaking on the good alternative to that which we are preaching against.

Remember God’s Creative Power to Change and Transform.

Finally, never paint a picture as so dire that God can not or will not do anything about the issue. God is always bigger than our problem or issue. God’s ability to create out of nothing means that we do not have to be able to see it before it comes. God can and does make something out of nothing. And remember where sin abounds Grace doth much more abound, so if you see racism, that means that grace is somewhere you just have to find it. If you see militarism, then you gotta keep looking to see what God is doing. Always remember God’s creative power to transform.

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