Check Your Motives if You Preach

John ArmstrongHomiletics/Preaching

William Willimon is a Methodist bishop who can preach. In fact, he is quite frankly one of my favorite preachers today. He tells an important story about preaching and the motives that those who preach often bring to the process of homiletics.

Willimon once heard a preacher begin a sermon, with great drama and more than a trace of theatrics, by saying to the congregation, “It is very hard for me to say what I feel I must say to you today in my sermon.” An elderly woman, sitting in the pew in front of Willimon, whispered loud enough to be heard by many, and said, “I’ll bet it’s not that hard for him to say this.”

If you preach ask yourself, “Why am I saying this and what do I hope to accomplish by saying it?” Don’t use humility to cover up your own opinions, which are often more related to what you really want to say rather than to what God wants you to say. Know the difference and you will be a true servant of the Lord of the church.