Powerful Sunday Messages Demand Authenticity
The most powerful Sunday messages demand the authenticity of who you are and how God created you.
Powerful Sunday Messages Must Be Genuine
Without doubt, the most powerful way to preach is by being you. With that said, being you takes a bit of development and understanding as well.
I am speaking to new messengers, teachers, and those who are struggling with the “call” as well. However, some who come across this article are in a process of trying to rediscover who God really called them to be.
Too often, we are mirror images of our fathers in the ministry.
Instead of going to God and asking for revelation on our calling, we take on the personality of someone else. Let me be clear: you will never, ever be effective acting like a clone of someone else!
So much bad denomination teaching occurs in churches because those speaking, supposedly on behalf of God, are not true to themselves.
The only way to deliver a Holy Ghost filled message is walking and the gifting God has given you. Believe it or not, there are certain things you will be more equipped to preach than others.
I will use myself as an example.
But before going there, I am never saying you should not teach things because you don’t feel equipped to do so. God forbid! However, we often drift into teaching things we are passionate about within the faith.
This is not to say that 'passion equals purpose,' of course. Some teach messages, for instance, on “grace” 70% of the time. I am not one of those people, but grace should be taught often.
When I am in that “zone”, is when delivering a message on two subjects. First, I was born to confront and cry out on false prophets and wayward shepherds! I do not shirk this duty nor will I apologize for doing so.
I cannot believe: “God chastises those He loves” yet be unwilling to be His vessel of chastisement. Who can forget that famous Scripture in the book of James: “faith without works is dead.”
Read for yourself (James 2:16-18):
Second, and as a currently serving church leader, I am blessed to constantly encourage God’s sheep to be all He has brought them into this world to be.
Inspirational Messages Comes from Holy Ghost Power
Saying what God, through the Holy Ghost, wants spoken is not about being a brilliant wordsmith.
It is delivered by expressing the message of Jesus with power, passion, and persuasion. It is both “what” you say and “how” you say it.
The most well-known orators in history knew this instinctively.
They weren’t just gifted writers or speakers; they were effective speakers as well. Even when they weren’t speaking directly from Scripture, the wisdom conveyed caused many to hear God.
Their messages have endured because of the Holy Ghost power they spoke with. Let me provide you an example between someone who simply knows the Bible, and someone born to preach it.
There is a marked difference between, for instance, a professor at Liberty University and a Liberty professor who is also a God sent messenger.
This is not to say that regular professors are not gifted. There is a place for scholarship in the kingdom of God. However, scholarship is not going to lead the lost to Jesus often.
I mean, who cares about the literary, contextual, and historical “exegesis” of John chapter 3?
What really matters, in that same passage, is Jesus’ message about the way to salvation! A person need not have any “exegesis” for John chapter 3 but can receive eternal life or believing it.
Powerful Messengers in Church History
Let’s examine some of the most well-known orators in church history. I am in no way suggesting these are “more effective” than the millions which have passed away unknown to history books.
Such assumptions go against this biblical view (John 19:29-30):
Just an FYI – these are the Words of Jesus Christ.
First, Charles Spurgeon was a gifted orator of God’s Word. His influence on the church can hardly be mentioned in this small space. However, Spurgeon had a gift for writing as well. As a Messenger sent from God, I have found “talking” much easier than “writing”.
Writing, re-reading, and editing forces us to examine and even reconsider long held beliefs. Talking often happens quickly without a second thought for what was spoken.
Next is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King is celebrated as the premier civil rights icon but was a God sent Messenger before and during his civil rights role. He led a congregation who was selfless enough to share him with the entire world.
There is little doubt Dr. King is among the top five (5) most gifted orators of the twentieth (20th) century.
Finally, no list is complete without mentioning C.S. Lewis! His writings survive to this day and his Holy Ghost insight has blessed millions the world over. He was more a writer than speaker. however.
Nevertheless, none of us are any better than the other.
But it is hard to argue some are more gifted than others in certain areas. The Bible says as much. "To some is given the gift of wisdom, others knowledge, others healing..."
Persuasive Sunday Messages Are Earnest
A Sunday message is "a discourse delivered to a congregation on a religious subject."
Preaching is a highly formalized, one-way communication to the congregation from the pulpit.
A sermon typically appears in written form but can also be strictly “off the cuff.” I have heard many preached messages which stirred my spirit.
Regardless of who believes one preacher is better than the other, you must remain earnest in delivery. The world wants us to believe: “it isn’t what you say but how you say it” (which matters).
As is always true, the truth is the exact opposite in the Kingdom of God. It is both “what you say and how you say it.”
The reason for this is the world’s view suggest you could even tell a lie and if you tell it well enough, it is okay.
The Bible gives us a much different view (1st John 2:21):
Don’t miss this opportunity to show the people of God how powerful a humble earnestness can be. Missing this opportunity can cost more than most of us understand.
I sometimes wonder about something which perhaps I should.
I have spent much time wondering how many people an experience with a messenger from God had who was having a bad day?
It may be coming a church leader to understand how serious every decision I make is. Literally, I hope the power to draw people to Jesus Christ or discourage them away.
Earnestness in ministry must begin with obedience to the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
If I am not conducting myself with Holy Ghost integrity, the devil knows and can easily exploit this to the discouragement of others.
Further, earnestness has to originate with the integrity of someone’s call. There is no way to be honest while living a ministry lie.
For instance, if I have the gift of 'interpretation of tongues', if I am at a church which doesn't even teach, or speak, with tongues, I could not walk before God in integrity.
God is not going to place me somewhere that my gifts are of non-effect. He designs me with a gift to impact the world, and plants me where I, nor others, are going to be edified from my gift?
Earnestly seek to understand how to earnestly walk that out in spirit and truth.
Effective Teaching Depends on Delivery
The message God gave you is primarily about influencing the lives of others. We can speak about ‘season’ or ‘direction’ of that influence another time. That is irrelevant to this section.
What is important is that you allow the Holy Spirit to guide the delivery of your message.
We are back to this: are you trying to be a clone of someone else or the individual God created you to be?
Have you even asked the question on the earnestness of your style? Do you perform the way you do because you were taught in that manner? What if there was a more sincere and effective version of yourself?
These questions must be answered with respect to the styling what your message is delivered as well. We must forsake the thought that worship, especially effective worship, is based on decibel level.
Just because there is a rock band, pretending to be followers of Jesus, blasting music doesn’t mean God is in the minutes.
There are worshipers of God who never raise their voice above a whisper, and please God in ways 50,000 questionable clergy never could. Your style of worship delivery must align with your gifting.
It is preaching with passion, energy, and persuasion that makes the real difference.
Energy and passion aren’t always loud and obnoxious!
For instance, the most powerful preacher in this city does not yell, sweat, and put on a theatrical show. However, he has never failed to move me in ways that the hollering, sweating, crown preachers never do.
Well-known evangelist Rod Parsley is someone who yells, points, and puts on a great show. But the power of God does not rest on him.
When compared with the soft-spoken John MacArthur, Charles Stanley, or Voddie Baucham, Rod pales in comparison.
A word of warning: no matter how much you admire the “style” of another preacher, you aren’t them! It is a high crime to not embrace who God made us individually.
Any mimicking the style of another is, in effect, calling God a liar and accusing Him of insufficiency. It is OK to admire, but envy is another matter altogether. Deliver the Word of God with power and great glory!
The only way this is accomplished is for you to trust Jesus in your gifting.
Delivering Pulpit Messages with a Human Element
Voice tone, body language, and facial expressions are a natural part of delivering life changing messages to God’s Sheep. More specifically, there is a human element which makes our presentations more authentic and believable.
When you hear a speaker who is boring, monotone, and unengaging, you can still walk away with the message.
However, when you hear a speaker who is animated, dynamic, and emotionally engaging, you perk up a bit. Using words is the basis for sound preaching, no doubt. I mean, if you don’t use words, and especially “the Word,” how can you deliver a message?
Oh yeah, sign language, right? Well, even sign language is “spoken” language delivered in another manner.
I am not suggesting that you act in a way which make you a phony. God forbid! You should, however (1st Corinthians 9:20-22):
Yes, you can adapt to your environment for the cause of Christ without compromising sound doctrine! Body language is another way to preach without words. Your gestures, posture, and movements can enhance your vocal delivery.
They can convey emotions that your words alone cannot.
These natural elements help paint a picture for your audience so they can imagine what you’re saying and experience it personally.
Don’t be too casual or relaxed because that can come across as unengaging. However, you also shouldn’t be stiff or over-rehearsed because that is phony. You want to find that sweet spot between the two.
Be yourself but realize people will spot an actor quickly and tune them out.
Those God uses most effectively are uniquely themselves. Even the Apostle Paul said: “I thank Him (Jesus) that I am exactly what and who I am.”
If you want to develop a more effective Sunday message delivery, it will take much prayer, study, and repetition. Of course, I am not telling you to practice such as an actor.
I am the least fake person I know.
However, it even took me some years to develop the style God gifted me to have. God sharing and revealing his word with those who deliver his message, is not the same as us understanding how to share.
As with any other thing, it takes prayer, meditation, and repetition quite frankly. If I could assign a number two in my case anyway, I would estimate it took me preaching for 120 straight weeks to be who I am today.
This does not say I am someone important exhalation point! You get the point though.
The good news is that, with this repetition, you will come to understand what needs to be preached and how.
God created you for a specific purpose, time, and audience. You must never lose sight of that reality.
In our quest to become of more use to God, we go places, and do things we have no business. For instance, if you build a quick profile of apostles, you will find out that Paul possess the one trait to bring Jesus to the Gentiles. This man was flat out relentless!
He was fearless, consistent, untiring, uncompromising, effective, and committed. Paul even, is indicated in the Scripture above, taught that we should become “flexible” and how we witness to others.
Above every other consideration, stay in prayer and walked down that narrow path towards who you are.
I end this article as I began: the most powerful way to deliver Sunday messages is being authentically you.
Header Image Courtesy of Austin Chan @ Unsplash
Charles Spurgeon Image Courtesy of Wikicommons
Dr. Martin Luther King Image Courtesy of Wikicommons