You may have discovered that your sermon content often challenges the thinking of your congregants. That’s a good sign. It’s very difficult–maybe impossible–for anyone to grow spiritually if they continue to think the same things.
For instance, how do you think your congregation would answer this question, “Does God need your money?”?
I can tell you how mine did a couple of Sunday’s ago. The majority answered a confident, emphatic, “No!”
We were worshiping by responding to Philippians 4:14-20. Paul says, “Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.” The work of God through Paul needed the Thessalonians Christians. If they hadn’t given to Paul, what would have happened to the work? Someone quickly answered, “Someone else would have stepped in.”
Right, God would have used someone else’s generosity to fund His work. It’s true, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. But it’s also true that some other farmers also own them! Chuck Swindoll wrote, “Let’s face it, money and ministry often flow together” (Laugh Again). One of our missionaries serves under TEAM and I learned that donors provided the agency over 27 million dollars to operate last year!
Before Sunday, see if your preaching portion contains concepts which will challenge the conventional thinking of your congregants. Watch the reaction in the pews. Since we function as theologians for the flock, it is important that we spur them on to new ways of thinking about their God and their relationship to Him. I hope you’re sensing that God sent you to your post in order to stretch His people with the Word.
It’s not about inventing novel theology. It’s not about creating new doctrine. It’s about digging deep and thinking deeply about His Word and comparing that to the conventional thinking of the church.
Preach well for God’s glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:21),