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Preaching and Teaching

Becoming a Do-Something Preacher (Part 2)

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This is a continuation of last week’s article that can be found here:…-preacher-part-1/

As a preacher, it’s never enough just to communicate information. God didn’t call us to be seminary professors or entertainers. God called us to be do-something preachers. He expects us to preach for transformation.

Last week, I talked about how to become a do-something preacher by helping your congregation see that they cannot change their behavior without changing what they believe, because all behavior is based on a belief. Change always starts in the mind!

The biblical word for “changing your mind” is repentance. When most people think of the word “repentance,” they think it means to stop doing something. But not a single Greek lexicon defines repentance (metanoia) that way. Repentance means to change your mind.

Helping the people you preach to change the way they think is a battle, because they may have held these wrong beliefs for years. Changing them isn’t easy.

  1. You don’t change people’s minds. 

The applied Word of God does. Paul writes, “When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths” (1 Corinthians 2:13 NLT).

The Bible teaches that real preaching isn’t just a matter of intellectual study and the presentation of facts. God is at work within the speaker, and that makes it different.

As preachers, we “demolish arguments” (2 Corinthians 10:4). Spiritual warfare isn’t as much about fighting demons as it is about battling ideologies, beliefs, and values. That’s why we’re so exhausted after preaching. We’re not just giving a pep talk. We’re battling for the minds of men and women. 

  1. Changing the way I act is a result (or fruit) of repentance.

Repentance happens in our minds. It’s not about our actions. Repentance doesn’t mean forsaking your sins. It means changing your mind. That’s why John the Baptist says, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8 NIV). Actions follow beliefs. 

Paul echoed this in Acts 20:26 when he said: “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (NIV). Deeds are not repentance. Deeds are the proof of repentance. 

  1. The deepest preaching is preaching for repentance. 

Life application preaching is not shallow preaching. Anytime you teach doctrine without applying it to the lives of listeners, your teaching is shallow. Life change only happens when you challenge someone’s thinking. Preaching for repentance is preaching for life change. 

Repentance is the central theme of the New Testament. Just look at these verses:

  • John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 3:2 NIV). 
  • Peter: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 NIV). 
  • Paul: “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20 NIV).   
  • Jesus: “This is what is written: ‘The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’” (Luke 24:46-47 NIV).

The message of the Bible isn’t information and interpretation—it’s life change. 

  1. To produce lasting life change, you must enlighten the mind, engage the emotion, and challenge the will.

Many pastors particularly struggle with the third of these—challenging the will. But as a preacher, it’s critical you challenge the will. Every message really comes down to two words. Will you. 

Will you do what you were created to do? 

You make the challenge, and then you have the courage to wait and let your congregation respond.

It takes courage to do that because it’s risky to challenge our congregants. They may reject you. They may walk out on you. People may not like what you ask. But never forget what the Bible says in Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man will prove to be a snare” (NIV). The moment we worry about what other people think, we’re finished as a teacher. We are no longer a tool in the hand of God because we’re worried about what others will think. 

So now what?

Over the past two weeks, I’ve shown just how important it is to preach for life change. God wants to help the people in our churches to be Christlike in conviction, character, and conduct. The purpose of preaching is to produce doers of the Word, not just hearers of the Word.

Preaching for application isn’t just a matter of preference or style. It’s a matter of obedience. God intended his Word to be used for the changing of lives.

Will you repent and never again preach just to communicate information?

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