How to Move People in a Sermon

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Mike Myatt in his book Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly said:

You’ll never understand people until you know what motivates them.

The implications for this on pastors and their sermons are enormous.

I think one of the reasons lives aren’t changed from a sermon is that many pastors do not get at what motivates people. They stand on stage, expound the bible, give a great commentary book report, tell them what the Bible says and then sit down.

Now, before you leave a comment saying, “The holy spirit changes lives, not the preacher.” I wholeheartedly agree. This often gives pastors an out from actually working on their task or doing the hard work during the week before preaching.

Think on this for a minute, “Why should anyone care about what you are preaching on?” Because it is in the Bible? If that’s your answer, you will need to do better than that in our day and age. For our culture, because something is in the bible is a deterrent. I’m not saying that’s right, I’m saying that is how it is. If you can’t tell people on a Sunday morning why they should care about what you are preaching on, they will have little reason to listen.

Think of it another way, “What does this passage answer in my life?” This is just another way or getting at the caring question, but it also poses another thing for pastors: this helps you know that you know your audience because you know the questions they have, the struggles they face, the concerns, addictions, negative emotions, past issues and sins they are walking through at that moment so you can confidently say, “You are struggling with _____, you are having a hard time believing _____ and this passage shows us why Jesus is truer and better.”

Most pastors usually jump to “Jesus is truer and better” without showing those listening, “I know what you think is truer and better.” If people don’t believe we know what they think is truer and better, when we get to Jesus they won’t believe us that He is truer and better because we haven’t shown them that we know what drives them or how to move them.

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The Problem with Being Politically Correct

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Love this as it relates to leadership and life:

The institutionalization of politically correct thinking has done more to harm operating businesses than just about any other social and/or cultural influence in recent times.

I don’t know about you, but it’s almost as if we’ve raised a generation of leaders who feel they have a moral and ethical obligation to be politically correct—wrong. Their responsibility is to be correct; not politically correct. The harsh truth is politically correct thinking is a large contributor to an increase in mediocre behavior, a decrease in workplace productivity, and of greater concern, to the moral and ethical decay of our society. Are these extreme statements? Perhaps some may think so, but being authentic to my politically incorrect self, I think not.

What’s troubling to me, and I hope to you, is that politically correct assault has invaded classrooms; the media; the work place; federal, state, and local government; the judiciary; the church; the military; and even casual discussions with friends and family. It has spread to pandemic proportions, crossing boarders and cultures, such that you’d be hard pressed to actually find organizations where tough, candid conversations frequently take place without HR mediating them.

Few things will send morale and productivity into decline faster than leadership that adopts a politically correct mind-set. Before those of dissenting (politically correct) opinions become too outraged with my position, let me be perfectly clear; I believe strongly in respect and compassion. These characteristics should be present in all human beings. They are admirable qualities so long as they don’t take precedence over, ignore, or contradict truth.

The main problem with politically correct thinking is that it confuses kindness and courtesy with bureaucratic mandates, and ends up stripping people of their real opinions. I’m not advocating being mean-spirited, arrogant, judgmental, or self-righteous—quite to the contrary. It is very possible, and preferable, to have truth and compassion co-exist without being subject to political correctness. -Mike Myatt, Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly

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