On Saturday night I preached at an inner-city mission. And praise the Lord a prostitute was saved!
After all these years of street-preaching and never being invited to preach anywhere, I have actually been invited to preach monthly at this inner city Mission for the homeless and disadvantaged.
The thing is I don’t know how to do “normal” preaching. I can’t get three points and then a conclusion and stand behind a pulpit.
As part of my Chaplaincy course I’ve just been reading an essay on how to be an “Effective Communicator” as a preacher. Even though this article does make some valid points, I find it rather sad that it is all about how to get your points across, how to make sure the audience remembers what you’ve said, how to be an effective communicator etc etc.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to come into it at all – it’s all fleshly business-speak. In these days of downloadable sermons and effective sound-bytes there is a need for anointed preaching again. For goodness sake let’s get back to the power of the Holy Spirit! So here’s my “how-to” list to preach in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Preaching in the Spirit
- Be in an intimate relationship with Jesus. If you’re not, then please don’t preach. Really.
- Be constantly in the Word. It just needs to be a part of you.
- Check your heart. If there’s anything between you and God deal with it immediately.
- Cry. Yes, weep. This is hugely important. Weeping is the key to the anointing. This is something that cannot be forced, so ask God to break you for the sins of the people you will be preaching to. Preaching should ALWAYS come from a place of brokenness but it usually never does, and that’s why power in preaching is so rare these days.
- Ask Him for His heart, for His burden, for what He wants to say. Even if you only get one scripture from Him it is enough. It is better to preach that one verse for 5 minutes if it’s from His heart than to preach for 30 minutes from your flesh.
- Yield yourself to Him and His will. Ask Him to have His way in you and for you to be a vessel for Him.
- Pray before you go: For Him to fill you with His Spirit; for the people’s hearts to be prepared; for the Spirit to preach through you right into the spiritual realm. You will need to resist the devil – all his methods, his agents, his interruptions, anything he would seek to do to disrupt or interfere with God’s message being delivered.
- Cry again.
- Thank God for the victory we have in Christ Jesus.
- Go in Holy Ghost boldness, knowing it’s not about you, but about Him.
I preached Isaiah 1:18 on Saturday night: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
The Holy Spirit had impressed upon me that it was all about being honest with God, calling a sin a sin. So that’s what I preached. Afterwards there was a time of ministry and the prostitute came to me and we cried together and she was saved, praise the Lord. The pastor said at the end of the night that there had been a shift in the Spirit tonight, that there was a new honesty and people were being real.
And that’s the point: a shift in the spiritual realm. T Austin Sparks called it “preaching to the back of things.”
Preaching to the flesh is a waste of time. The flesh cannot receive the things of the Spirit. People may feel inspired in the emotional realm for a while, but nothing changes. No, we must preach to the back of things. We preach to the angels, the devils, to the spirit of man, to Christ Himself. And that’s when things happen.
I’m happy to answer any questions about this article!
October 15, 2017 at 11:42 pm
Sounds good – difficult to fina places to minister, sounds like God opened a door!
I get your feeling about ‘speaking lessons’ don’t give up learning anything they have though unless you’re directly led to it. Speaking methods & such can be a valid tool in communication even if they know nothing of the Spirit – the primary aim of valid ministry is presenting the Gospel: communication. The form of such lessons generally become a problem when such methods are leaned upon, rather than the prompting of the Holy Spirit (sounds like you are doing well on that front – stay in the spirit of repentance, and you should be good;)).
Great testimony, thanks for sharing!
October 16, 2017 at 12:03 am
Thank you for your comment and encouragement. 🙂 you make a good point about communicating the gospel. I’m not against these methods and techniques as such, and if anything can help me then I’m willing to listen. But I am against the tendency to rely upon these methods, as you mention, rather than the Holy Spirit for a message. After all, the flesh looks for the path of least resistance and so if we can trust a method then we don’t have to trust God so much.
And yes God definitely opened a door, He is so good!
October 16, 2017 at 10:32 am
Best summary of preaching I have heard. I am usually the prisoner of the 3 point method but often forget much of what you shared. How good to see a new soul coming to Christ at the altar. It is better than a thousand beautiful words in a sermon. Keep giving away your heart in this mission and keep us updated😄
October 16, 2017 at 11:07 am
Thank you Pastor Pete for your encouraging words! I will surely do just that, God willing. Blessings in our wonderful Lord 🙂
October 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm
Wow….thank you so much for sharing this. I cannot even tell you what the timing of this means to me. I’ve been doing street ministry in my city for 6 years. Most of it is one-on-one witnessing. However…..lately I have been so grieved by the number of people who pass by us, not talking to us, not even taking a gospel tract and I’ve been praying about how to reach them with the gospel and I keep returning to the understanding that God’s chosen method is preaching. I’ve done open air preaching before, but that was when I was with a larger group of people in a different city and everybody was taking turns preaching. It feels a bit harder when it’s just me. But it really isn’t just me, is it? 😊
I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote….the word of God must be ministered in the Spirit and power of God.
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11
Thank you so much for sharing this. Your blog is an encouragement to me.
October 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm
Thank you for your comment, I am so blessed to hear from you again! It never ceases to amaze me how God orders everything, and I am so blessed to know that He spoke to you through this post.
Actually your experience is very similar to mine. I also started off with a large group of which we all took turns preaching on a Friday night. I think this was my training ground (perhaps yours too?). Then the Lord led me to take a small group of women in to the city on a Friday morning. I knew of these women who came with me that I would be the only one preaching. They were great handing out tracts and speaking to people but they wouldn’t preach. So I started off just doing little bursts of preaching, then having breaks and talking with people. After a few times God organised a divine appointment with a wonderful homeless man. He came up and started helping us hand out tracts etc. Turns out he was also a powerful preacher but nobody else would give him the opportunity to preach. I was more than happy to share the mic with him, so we took turns after that. He has become a friend now. God always provides for His work, done in His way Eirene, and often in unexpected ways.
Please keep in touch.
God bless you sister!
October 27, 2017 at 7:59 am
Very good article, a very good read so I am going to reblog this article for you.
October 27, 2017 at 9:17 am
Thank you so much – I appreciate it! God bless you 😊
October 27, 2017 at 7:59 am
Reblogged this on Truth Troubles.
November 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm
As someone who has taught preaching to seminary students I like your approach. I won’t go into my observations there. But I was hard on them as they mimicked TV preachers! I was very adamant that they must find their own “style”. What one preaches is what is important, not the “dramatics”.
I am always inspired to hear of your encounters, because it is nice to know God is still at work despite the sterile activity that is so often what religion offers.
November 8, 2017 at 11:01 pm
Thank you my friend 🙂
August 26, 2019 at 1:52 am
You are very inspiring, God bless ❤
August 26, 2019 at 1:55 am
Thank you , you have encouraged me sister 🙂