Pastors are not CEOs.
We are God-called ministers.
We are called to proclaim His holy Word.
God's Word Is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as
the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions
of the heart." (Hebrews 4: 12)
Preaching God's word demands spiritual power.
Preaching with power comes from God, not man.
God makes the preacher.
We are mistaken if we mistake skill for spiritual power.
When we rely upon skill and talent and not upon the power that God supplies,
we are committing a preaching tragedy.
Our God has awesome power.
Our God is a consuming fire.
God speaks and the earth shakes.
To shake the hearts of people, we must be channels through which God speaks to their souls.
We must be clean and ready vessels prepared to follow God's will.
How do we know that we preach with power?
It is probably easier to recognize the absence of power that it is to tell others how to acquire it.
Usually when God's power is absent in us, we tend to turn to gimmicks to convince others
that we have this power.
Sometimes, we introduce new programs to substitute for powerless preaching.
We might turn to dramatic preaching, compelling illustrations, and we might also yell a little louder.
We might rely upon PowerPoint presentations and other visual imagery.
It's not that some of these things are not needed for they do serve a purpose in communicating truths
to our congregations, but they are not a substitute for the lack of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Nothing will give life to a dead sermon from a preacher who is empty of the Spirit of God.
The book of Acts demonstrates the power of God in the preaching of the disciples of God.
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." (Acts 1: 8)
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues,
as the Spirit was giving them utterance." (Acts 2:4)
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them..." (Acts 4: 8)
These early Christians were filled with God's Spirit.
And we must be also filled with God's Spirit.
Preaching can be self-serving.
Preachers are not actors.
Words of appreciation from our congregation can boost our egos, and our egos can lead deceive us
about how good we are.
Powerful preaching comes when we realize how unworthy we are to preach.
Powerful preaching comes when we're totally dependent on God for everything.
God will not bless a proud heart.
God will honor those who honor Him. (1 Sam. 2: 30)
Our sermons will bomb when we rely upon our own resources.
We need to study Isaiah 6:1-7 until we become broken and come to recognize our sinfulness
and how unworthy we are to preach the powerful Word of God.
We need to stay on our knees until God touches our lips with a burning coal from His holy altar.
God will not empower us until we preach in purity and reverence, and realize when we preach
that it is not about us -- it's about God.
As pastors we must have clean hands, a pure heart, a true soul, and speak straight. (Psalm 24: 3-6)
We must live with integrity and in righteousness.
We must speak truth.
We must not use our tongue to slander.
We must not be evil to our neighbors.
We must not take up a reproach against friends.
We must not despise a reprobate.
We must honor those who for the Lord.
We must flee from sin and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
(1 Tim. 6: 11)
We must preach with great contrition, humility, and brokenness.
None of us are worthy of the office and the ministry of our great God.
But God has call us to preach His matchless Word.
Therefore, we must be totally dependent upon the power of God's Spirit.
As preachers of God's great Word, we are called to a greater responsibility.
We must not tolerate sin in our lives.
We must live like Christ -- not like Satan.
We must spend much time in prayer confessing our sins to God.
There have been too many examples of pastors who have great followings, but have fallen
because of their sinfulness.
We must remember that the eyes of God are upon us, and He will hear our prayers,
but He will hide His face upon all of us who do evil. (1 Peter 3: 12)
Preaching must never be a pretense for humility and holiness.
Our personal sins must be confessed to God in our study.
When we enter the pulpit to preach the powerful Word of God, we must enter as one who has died to self.
Alexander Mclaren declared, "It takes a crucified man to preach a crucified Savior."
To preach powerfully we must be true worshipers of God.
We must speak with God before we speak with men.
I am concerned that many of us fail in this aspect of our personal lives.
Too many things keep us from spending private time with God.
And yet, we wonder why we are not preaching with power.
God must be first in everything.
The time alone with God is the most important part of a preacher's life.
We must remember who we are and who God is.
We must start each day with our Lord.
We must first preach the sermon to ourselves before we preach it to others.
We must saturate our lives with the Scriptures.
We must meditate upon them.
We must pray consistently.
We must grow daily more in love with Jesus.
We must worship privately and with others.
Every preacher should read the entire Bible from cover to cover at least once every year.
We must hunger and thirst after the Word of God.
We must feed our souls with His precious Word.
If the message that God gives us feeds us, it will feed others.
If the sermon that God gives us blesses us, it will bless others.
If the sermon that God gives us touches us, it will touch others.
We must remember that it is not our great pulpit skill that God blesses.
It is our likeness to Jesus that God will bless.
A powerful preacher is a powerful weapon in the hand of God.
We must know that God has called us to the sacred ministry preaching.
We must know that we can do no other.
The call of God is not open to discussion.
When God truly calls us, we know that we have been set apart for the greatest ministry on earth.
Our ministry comes from God -- not from men.
God calls a man to preach.
"I know the Lord! I know the Lord! I know the Lord has laid His hand on me."
If a preacher doubts his calling, he will probably also doubt his message.
A preacher is doomed to failure if he is not sure of God's calling.
Every preacher must know that God has sent him.
This call is not come from a church or a particular denomination, it is a call from God.
A preacher doesn't decide that he would like to preach.
Nothing but an overwhelming sense of being called should ever lead a man to preach.
When God calls, there is a consuming desire to preach.
Only those who have been called and commissioned by God can boldly declare, "Thus saith the Lord!"
We can preach with power when we are controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Preachers in bygone days spoke of preaching with "unction."
Preaching with "unction" meant preaching that was anointed by God's Spirit.
Unction preaching overcomes the weakness of the preacher.
Unction preaching confirms that there's more to preaching than speaking.
Unction makes preaching powerful and special.
Unction is the inward working of the Spirit which wraps the preaching with outward power.
Unction in preaching cannot be defined, and yet cannot be mistaken.
A preacher has it or does not have it.
It doesn't come from good sermon preparation nor eloquent speech.
It is rare and undefinable and it is unspeakably powerful.
Every preacher can experience God's power if he submits himself entirely to the Lord
and faithfully carries out his call and commission to preach.
Powerful preaching is the impact of the Word of God preached by the preacher to those who hear.
Spiritual power is available to every preacher who will become a dedicated, set apart instrument of God.
God's people must pray for the one called to preach.
Every preacher needs the prayers of God's people.
Paul express such need in Ephesians 6: 19-20: "And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me
in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the ministry of the gospel, for which
I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
We should encourage our people to praise specifically for the preaching of the Word.
We should encourage them to pray as we preach.
Powerful preaching comes from a close walk with God.
"Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood
and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.
Therefore, if any man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified,
useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2 Tim. 2:20-21)
We must commit ourselves to be that sanctified vessel, and our preaching will be powerful.
-- Adapted from several sources