One of the biggest challenges in preaching and teaching is to deliver one message that reaches into the lives of people of all maturity levels – from seekers and what will speak to their heart to mature Christians and what will speak to theirs. I know I have connected when people of different generations have good things to say about a ministry, sermon or class (unless you just have a few people being kind and gracious despite the content…which can certainly happen!).
How do you bring substance to a message that has something to connect with people of all levels of spiritual maturity? Well, that is a question I am still trying to answer and many of you can and should share your valuable insights on how you would answer that question. Here are a few things that I think can help that happen:
1 – Knowledge of scripture – you can’t share what you don’t know. There are times when the congregation’s knowledge of scripture needs to be stretched and for the minister to model what it looks like to dig into the Bible and pull out real application.
2 – Leadership – the message should actually be trying to take people from where they are to a new/transformational place (closer to God and others). Messages that don’t connect often are those that don’t communicate that this message has anything to speak into your life’s journey. You can’t take people where you haven’t gone yourself.
3 – Character – You can know scripture and know how to lead but if your heart is in the wrong place, the whole thing can get undermined.
4 – Submission – Ministers are put in places of authority and when that happens it is easy to make things how you want them…who wouldn’t, right? Well, ministry that is done from the attitude of a servant and is done with submission means you won’t and shouldn’t always get your way but will submit to the will and preferences of others for the sake of the unity of the body.
5 – Accountability – If there isn’t anyone who can speak a word of correction into your ministry then you are on dangerous ground. We should get secure enough with ourselves to invite critique into our ministries and messages. No one is above that.
What would you add to this list?