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preaching skill

The Spiritual Importance of Becoming an Emotionally Healthy Preacher

Key issues to address as we look beneath the surface

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There are some great speakers in the church today. I'm in awe of the gifts that some people have. But I feel like one of my contributions to the preaching conversation is this idea of preaching from our brokenness and weakness—that God's power flows through that. If God has given you great eloquence, then use that gift; but don't ever let that gift cloud where true power comes from. Ultimately, it's the rawness of your life and your encounter with God's grace that becomes one of your greatest preaching gifts.

Actually, gifted preachers are the most in danger. They can get by, and people love it, but it's also possible that nothing significant is taking place. You can draw a crowd of people, but in terms of spiritual transformation little is actually happening.

Here's the key principle behind preaching that leads to transformation in Christ: You can't bring people on a journey that you haven't taken. You can tell them about the journey, but they could read that in a book. But if you go on a journey with Jesus that has real depth, it will come out in your preaching. If you've been sidetracked from that journey with Christ—building a big church, or gaining people's approval, or being so busy you can't even think straight—I would say that God is telling you to slow down so that you can be with Jesus. Your people need you to spend time in prayer. Your people need you to be with God, so you can bring a real Word from God.

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"Peter Scazzero is the founder and senior pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York, and author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Thomas Nelson)."

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May 20, 2012  1:39pm

It's so much about honesty, isn't it? Being transparent in the pulput and sharing how God reveals His truth to you as you seek Him..........and then sharing that truth with others. And sometimes, we are still "seeking" and don't have God's total peace yet, but being truthful, even in those situations, can minister to others just as powerfully. We know there is HOPE and we know that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him, so even for a time, that may be all God chooses to "give us" until later. We just cannot give up on God and His promises. As Christians, we don't walk alone, unless we choose to and that can be a dangerous path to walk. Thank you.

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Dr. George W. Thomas

May 16, 2012  6:49pm

Peter Scazzero is one of my favorite authors and practical pastors because he has lived through changes that have made him closed to Christ. I agree that prayer and time with God is essential.

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Louise Malbon-Reddix

March 09, 2012  9:13pm

Yes, we need to spend time with God. Again and as you have said, spend time with God and wait to hear from HIm and allow Him to address you and comfort you and build you up to do what you now do for others.

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Sherrie Dampeer

March 07, 2012  10:05pm

WOW!! What a tremendous article on such a needed topic!!

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Valerie Caraotta

March 06, 2012  8:16pm

What a fantastic article as it is obvious your journey has been tried and tested. I gained further realization on the importance of having to go through things in an experiential way as opposed to just having an understanding of the text. Indeed our life experiences, if surrendered to Him, can bring with them the power to touch lives with the heart and compassion of our dear Savior. Diligently asking Him how our attitude and response should be seems vital to gaining the full fruition of each journey we encounter. The Lord wastes nothing and that includes turning trying times into deeper reflection and understanding of Him. All is filtered through His hands of love and in return our experiences and deeper knowledge gained through prayer can hopefully be met with many Divine appointments and a revelatory word in due season. Your journeys continue to inspire and challenge me. Thank you again for your transparent heart.

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