Think about the preaching and teaching ministry of Jesus. Wherever He went, multitudes gathered to hear Him. It was not that way for the scribes and the Pharisees. So I thought to myself, what was it that made Jesus such a hit with people? Here, I want to share three things we preachers can learn from the preaching ministry of Jesus to more effectively connect with people today.
One, Jesus’ message was relevant and practical. He did not preach a hypothetical gospel about heaven and hell. Nor did He simply give out religious info void of take away value. But He connected with people, challenging and teaching them how to integrate faith into the world in which they lived. We can use more of this kind of preaching today as well.
Accomplishing this objective is becoming increasingly more difficult. It requires us to stay informed about what’s going on in our complex world. Then we must speak to the issues of our day from a biblical perspective. The people we minister to live in this complicated world. They need to hear with clarity and with practicality how to live out their faith in the world in which they live.
Two, Jesus taught and preached with authority. He was not a wishy-washy messenger. Great crowds followed Him, but He was not a crowd-pleaser. Sometimes, His sayings were hard for the people to receive. Moreover, “The people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29).
We can only proclaim the Word of God with authority when we believe in it without reservation. For instance, I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. I believe it has the power to transform the lives of everyone who opens his heart to receive it. I further believe that in the Bible, God provides us with practical advice for overcoming the challenges of life. When our preaching and teaching are fueled by such convictions, we can proclaim the Word of God with authority as Jesus did.
Three, Jesus ministered as a servant and not a master. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Jesus said (Matthew 20:28). Think about that. He was God manifested in the flesh. All things were created by Him. Yet, He came to earth in the spirit of a servant!
As preachers of the gospel, we must be careful to not assume the role of a lord. Though we may pastor a mega church, we are still servants and not masters. From the congregants we are due respect but not worship or servitude. They need to perceive that our interest is to serve them and not to exploit them for personal gain.
This approach to the ministry of the Word worked great for Jesus. It behooves us to follow His example.
Copyright © 2015 by Frank King. All rights reserved.