The Power of Persuasive Preaching

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It will be the same for you, pastor. When the Word goes out from your pulpit it will challenge the long-held beliefs of your congregation.

Some will mock, some will leave, and some will seek to slander your church but some will continue to listen. Their consciences will be pricked and it is the Word that produces that effect in your hearers. When the lights begin to come on for your hearers you can be sure the questions are going to come rolling in. Many in our pews wrestle with unbelief, even those who have been Christians most of their lives. The Word is the most powerful tool in your arsenal to combat this unbelief. How would they hear this text?

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What objections would they raise? What would they misunderstand? What would offend them? Confuse them? You will be surprised how helpful this simple practice can be in terms of changing your perspective on a text and how to teach it. The transformation of the mind begins with the hearing of the Word through the lips of the preacher.

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Therefore, it is largely the task of the preacher to persuade the audience of the truth of the Bible. This second transformation, that of the heart, is wholly a work of the Holy Spirit. One of the most striking examples of this is found in the book of Luke. On the very day of the resurrection, when Jesus had risen from the dead, we read of him walking along the road with two disciples whose eyes were kept from recognizing Him.

Can you imagine this scene? The hearts of two disciples of Jesus were utterly broken at the death of their Messiah. Their hopes hung on this one man who claimed to come from the Father and to do His will. How, then, in a matter of a few hours, could this man be dead? Their hopes for the redemption of Israel lay dead, buried, and now missing from the grave. Jesus, being gracious with them uses the Scriptures to show them that their hope was alive and seated at the right hand of the Father.

The Perils of Persuasive Preaching

Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? Jesus uses the words which God inspired the writers of the Old Testament to write down to begin to transform the hearts of these two despondent disciples. What these two needed was not an intellectual persuasion that the Christ was risen, they needed their stony hearts transformed into hearts of flesh. They themselves recall the events that happened on that day revealing that they understood with their minds all that had just taken place.

What they needed was exactly what Jesus provided for them. And he vanished from their sight.

Persuasive Preaching: A Biblical and Practical Guide to the Effective Use of Persuasion

The Word of God will accomplish what it intends to accomplish. Our primary call as pastors is to proclaim boldly this Word. As we stand in our churches every week let us not be afraid to wrestle with the doubts, fears, and insecurities of our congregations.

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  • The Word is the only antidote for what ails human beings. The transformation of the mind is largely your task. The transformation of the heart that follows, is all of Christ. So the head is not the only part of the person that needs convincing. The heart does, too. Because people are people , they are emotionally invested in the beliefs and opinions they hold.

    It may be due to something they or a loved one has experienced. It might be because of some unfulfilled desire. Whatever it is, everyone has an incentive for believing what they believe that goes beyond the logic. This is why people find it so easy to hold contradictory positions. It has little to do with logic and much more to do with their hearts.

    The Power Of Persuasive Prayer

    The incentives are ultimately empty. As they begin to see this — over time, not over night — they will become more open to what the Bible teaches. The wise pastor makes an effort to preach convincing sermons. This is why the Book of Proverbs points out the need to be intentionally persuasive with our words.

    When we fail to take the advice of Proverbs, we kill the persuasiveness of our sermons. How so? One way pastors kill their persuasiveness is by being unnecessarily offensive.

    Persuasive Preaching: A Biblical and Practical Guide to the Effective Use of Persuasion

    It simply means that you discern the best way for something to come across in order for people to receive it. I recently came across a D.

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    • Another way pastors lose persuasive is through simple lack of effort. This is the difference between marinating and seasoning a steak as opposed to just throwing it on the grill. That takes extra work on your part, but your dinner guests certainly appreciate it. The same is true for your sermons.