We preachers talk a lot. In fact, we get paid to talk each Sunday morning. I have found, as I know you have, too, that God’s Word has a way of cutting right through life like a hot knife through butter. Sometimes God’s Word is so “fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11 AMP) that we can’t believe someone hasn’t been looking through our keyhole or reading our mail. Those who hear us preach feel the same way.
Recently a man came up to me after a church service and said, “My wife talked to you, didn’t she?”
“No,” I answered, “she didn’t.”
“Come on, level with me, Chuck. She called you this week, didn’t she?”
“No, she didn’t call me this week.” The words he heard that day from God’s Word were so specific and so penetrating, he was convinced that I had talked to the one who knew his particular struggle. I’m sure you have had similar conversations.
Your words have the power to change someone’s life. One of the greatest messages we pastors can communicate is the message of Christlike character—both from our lips and from our lives. You want to know how to make an impact in your church where it seems like nobody cares about spiritual things? Here’s how: Speak like Christ and live like Christ. I guarantee you, over a period of time it’ll make a difference. Even when they don’t seem to want to hear your words, continue to live like Christ. It won’t be ignored.
I recently heard someone say: “The only Bible the world reads is the daily life of the Christian. And what the world needs now is a revised version.” I like that! How about offering a revised version of the Christian life to the people with whom you minister? In this day in which the church has run wild with scandal, and has left the non-believer with false impressions of genuine followers of the Savior, this is a great day to write and live a revised version of what it means to follow Jesus Christ.
As crucial as our sermons are, they only have impact when they’re backed up by a godly life. As Paul said, “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2).
Your words have the power to change someone’s life. How? Because the congregation can see that the message you’re preaching has changed your own life.