I know that I am not worthy of sharing this message because often times what I have preached may seemed to have come out of the soul. There is something important about analyzing of audience when you are trying to convey a message. You don’t know who will be listening or reading what you are sharing and how it will impact them. Certain types of messages may seem good to your soul, but are not often from the Spirit. A good question you have to ask yourself is, will it do damage to the soul and bring condemnation to them? People come with a lot of baggage in their souls, and if you carry your own baggage, even as an example, sometimes it can lead to destruction, and cause a lot of harm, and create a painful memory, in the person’s soul, especially if you believe that this person is really speaking from God. So to put this delicately, we have to be very careful what we say, write, or speak as leaders. We as Christians are supposed to forgive, and it maybe a lot more difficult when people abuse their position of authority.
There some types of audiences that you need to be aware of when preaching – not a law and probably no Biblical foundation to support this, but some guidelines to know what kind of message is appropriate for what kind of audience as so not to do tremendous damage to the soul to the point where it may become difficult for them to receive healing-Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire [for Jesus] comes, it is a tree of life:
1. Born Again Believers – who have been born again for over 20 to 30 years –
They have probably heard it all and won’t be surprised by anything you say, but there is something new that they can learn from a message.
2. Born Again Believers – who have been born again for 15 to 20 years –
They may have not heard everything, but can tolerate rebuking and correction most of the time
3. Born Again Believers – who have been born again for 10 to 15 years –
They might be going through what I like to call Spiritual Adolescence, and they may be easily persuaded by different types of doctrines so they need to be preached the Truth. They probably cannot tolerate too much rebuking and correction, and if it is constant, they may be led to stray away from the faith if they don’t have some messages that build up or uplift or encourage sometimes. It may not mean they have itching ears, but they need to be able to trust that what they are hearing is from God.
4. Born Again Believers – who have been born again for 5 to 10 years –
These are believers who need to be fed the Word of God and need to be taught how to feed upon more than nuggets, and they need to be encouraged and built up and they need not to be rebuked unless their sin is going to damage the way that God has for their life. Each person and circumstance is different so it cannot be dependent upon a formula, as none of these can, but it takes wisdom on how to counsel these people and how to minister the Word to them, but preferrably they need to be built up and encouraged.
5. Born Again Believers – who have been born again (Just received salvation up to 5 years)
These are new believers – they need to be built up and encouraged in their faith as much as possible, and need to be fed strong Word of Truth from the beginning so that their foundation is strong. They do not need to be led into condemnation, and rebuking has to be gentle, and persuasive, instead of harsh, and discouraging. They need to be counseled and mentored by someone in the same gender as them if they have had issues in the area of lust, and need to be taught properly the Word of God, and be encouraged to build up their faith so that they can know who Jesus is. This would be a good time for them to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, after they have received the Baptism of Water.
5. Nominal Christians – these are people who say they are born Christians
They need to be taught about what Jesus said to Nicodemus, that we must be born again, and they must be taught that Jesus is not a religion, but a relationship. These people need to be rebuked because they are taking the name of Jesus in vain and they need to be taught the errors of their ways.
6. Unbelievers – need to be treated the same way, but not need to have Jesus forced down the throat. They need to experience Jesus for themselves because the Word of God will have no power over them if they don’t know who Jesus is. It is different for each person and each person works out their own salvation with fear and trembling so they need to be carefully witnessed to, by planting small seeds at a time, and not be treated as such to “win a soul”.
7. Carnal Christians – various ages – who keep on committing sins that are abominations to God – for example the Church of Corinth.
That brings me to my next point – we are to win souls not crush them and break them and tear them to pieces. We are to show them the way that they are wrong so that they can come into repentance, but not enter into condemnation, and it takes guidance from the Holy Spirit. A preacher well intentioned may think they are hearing from God, (just an example) but then make a comment that a person’s worship is not coming from the heart, and that may be true for some people or for themselves, but it is very dangerous to comment for everybody – especially for people that fall in that 1 – 10 category. Their hearts are usually pure so they do not to be discouraged in the way the worship God, and I am not just talking about singing, but about their lifestyle of worship. All preaching must bring hope and bring the message back to Jesus and back to revealing either Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit, or all three included, otherwise it might be coming out of the soul or might even be bringing idolatry. Some messages are teaching tools in how to lead an effective ministry and for that the audience will have to take in what applies to them. Preaching should be more about Jesus and less about your own personal life, and you can use examples, but then use them in a way so that it brings people faith and not doubt and discouragement to their souls. Once the soul is wounded it takes time to repair the soul. The Old Testament says that – Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully (or carelessly) – but The New Testament says – in 2 Corinthians 4:2 –
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
Paul struggled in this area of leading the Church of Corinth because they were doing things like fornicating in the temple and bowing down to idols, and these were things that he had to correct, and he didn’t like doing it, but it needed to be done.
Most likely there are many different types of people in the Church that you are ministering to so it’s hard to tell. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to impart on you the Spirit of love and Agape when teaching so that you may be revealed what to preach and when to preach it. Perhaps you end up preaching out of your soul at one time, then you know you can always repent, but pray that the message you preached did not cause a wound in the soul and caused people to lose hope or not to be able to forgive themselves and enter into condemnation. When you do preach it is always good to pray before hand, and sometimes when you preach out of pain God can do mighty things in another person’s life, but it takes a lot of wisdom and discernment, and just being examining your motive in what you are preaching. Is it to take your mess and turn it into a message? Will it actually help people’s lives, or will it make them feel so bad about themselves that they don’t want to believe in Jesus anymore because of what you said? People handle different things differently and it takes wisdom to handle the situation properly. Many people have left the Church because of strife and offense and the things that people especially ministers have said. So my exhortation for preachers, blog-evangelists, teachers, apostles, is to be careful in the things you say both on and off the “pulpit”. As I said that I am not worthy to preach this message because of the way I have been writing this blog at times, and I can think of at least one sermon, which did not bring edification and to build up the body. It is difficult for bloggers because they don’t know who they are reaching – it could be wicked spammers, or it could be mighty men and women of God, or it could be someone who has just found their faith, so be careful of not preaching out of the soul and taking your own baggage on the pulpit.
1 Peter 5 says – 1I WARN and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded): 2Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully; 3Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). 4And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.
If you are a pastor, preacher, minister, leader, blog-evangelist, apostle, or teacher here is a prayer for you –
Forgive me for anyone I have wounded grievously in the soul for the efforts of preaching and doing ministry work. It was not my intention and I can only do what I can by the hearing and discernment of Your voice. It is Your will that I should humble myself down before You and surrender the ministry into Your hands and cause only words that come out of Your mouth to be spoken or written to the people. In their heart transformation let the people not experience unforgiveness or bitterness in their own hearts toward anything being shared or spoken. If there is any bitterness or unforgiveness in my own heart let it be washed away and cleansed by the Power of Your Blood and by the renewing of Your Spirit, and let it cleanse out all impurities of the soul that keep me from ministering what is Truth to Your Word. Thank You for the Spirit of wisdom to help discern what types of audiences I am speaking to and what kind of messages need to be preached. I lay everything down before Your feet, and remove any pride, critical, judgmental nature in my life and help me to be more like You each day.
In Jesus Mighty Name I Pray,