If we're honest, and preach the full counsel of scripture, we will have moments where we'll have to communicate some difficult messages. How can we do that in a way that is both loving and faithful to Scripture? In this video I offer 5 tips for Surviving a Dangerous Sermon.
#1 Tell Biblical Truth
When you preach, make sure this is God's truth and not your truth. As preachers, we must exegete the text, so we're communicating what God wants to tell his people, and not our version of the truth.
#2 Be Honest
Let your audience know when you struggle with a text. Just because a portion of scripture is true, it doesn't mean we enjoy it. Let's face it, many of us wouldn't mind having our cake and eating it too, so be honest. Let them know when a portion of scripture is difficult. It makes you human, which is very important. If even Jesus asked that the cup of suffering be passed, I'm sure you've had moments when you've struggled with scripture. Communicate that to your audience.
#3 Be a Reconciler
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, not the ministry of judgment. Let's communicate is such a way as to persuade our audience to be reconciled to God. Don't preach in anger, preach in love, with the focus on persuading people to follow Christ.
#4 Accept the Results
No matter how well you speak or how nice you communicate truth, someone is bound to get upset. Don't sweat it, accept it. When the scriptures confront someone, the person's response is their responsibility, not yours. Therefore, accept the results, and keep pushing forward.
#5 Don't make it weekly
Don't preach difficult sermons for the sake of being difficult. There are times when God's people must be confronted, but there are also times when they need to be comforted and encouraged. Scripture is useful for correction and rebuking, but it's also useful for training (2 Tim 3:16). People don't just learn by rebuking, they learn by adequate training. Always offer hope.
What else would you add to this list?