BY RALPH M. MCGUIRE
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2).
The pulpit is God’s platform and not a soapbox. Every minister desires to be effective in the pulpit as a communicator. Good manners and an attitude of humility play far greater roles in success than oratory and eloquence.
Oratory at its best only entertains an audience and tickles the ears. A minister The minister is not a can be a silver tongued orator and be a complete failure in God. Someone once said, “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.”
The sounding of the trumpet from the pulpit must have that distinct sound as the shepherd’s voice to the sheep. The pulpit is not to become a grand-Ä stand of human brilliance or showmanship but a divine media for the glory of God and not man. The monumental purpose of the pulpit is the preaching of the Word. The temptation is there for the minister to demonstrate his exceptional ability and knowledge of
Scripture and to impress with his deep dissertations into revelations that thwart the simplicity of Christ.
Preaching will either impart or it will extract and steal from the souls of people. A good sermon is known by the percentage or content of truth and Bible found therein. Digression from biblical theology must be avoided. Fleshly dramatics and carnal quips can only detract and cast blight on the ministry. Heaven only responds to the preaching of the wholesome doctrine of Christ and His unadulterated truth. “The word of God is quick [living], and powerful, and sharper than any two-edge sword. piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and the intent of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The pulpit is not to be used as a platform for entertainment with spinning of yarns and grand oratory, but is for the prime purpose of feeding the lambs and sheep. While a touch of humor may have its place, foolish talking and jesting are not convenient (Ephesians 5:4).
The minister is not a comedian or a star but a mouthpiece for God to project holy oracles. Anointed preaching is powerful preaching. When Peter preached in the household of Cornelius, “the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word” (Acts 10:44). The need is great today for more preaching that will bring down fire from heaven upon our altars. Such preaching will convict the hearts of sinners in the seat of the scornful and bring them to an altar of repentance to prepare for baptism.
Someone well said, “There are three things found in every sermon. One, what he said that he should not have said. TWO, what he should have said that he did not say, and three, what he said.” Omissions are
sometimes in order, such as curt remarks with offensive slang and street talk that is highly offensive to hearers and grievous to God. Such so-called freedom is out of place anywhere, much less in the pulpit. Such behavior does not serve the congregation and desecrates the sacred desk. Some ministers could well profit by more education on ethics, principles and relationships along with their academical and theological degrees.
On every pulpit it should be written, “Sirs, we would see Jesus.” Christ; the master communicator, is a perfect example to the ministry. Loud decibels were not found typically in His sermons. The prophet
Isaiah said, “He shall not cry, not lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street” (Isaiah 42:2). Neither was the style of “Jesus Christ Superstar” or comeliness with flash of sophistication found in His ministry.
In conclusion, seven ingredients are found in the sermon of power and fruitfulness. (1) The Text. (2) Humility. (3) Heart. (4) Inspiration. (5) The good finish with the Spirit’s appeal. (6) Closing objectively with altar call. (7) Ceasing while conviction is present, lest we “preach them in and then preach them out.”
Brother McGuire is a senior United Pentecostal minister who resides in Marion, Wisconsin.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY FORWARD, WINTER 1999, PAGE 6. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.