When you, as a pastor, talk about issues that make people uncomfortable – especially inequality and injustice – you will most certainly raise the ire of many who have been quite comfortable in their complacency and quiet complicity up to the moment your words pricked the hard outer shells of their hearts.
And then the Holy Spirit gets involved. As you can see in the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, when gospel messengers speak plainly and boldly and then the Holy Spirit begins to bring a sense of conviction to the crowd, things get ugly.
When an issue breaks your heart and keeps you up at night, you must pray about it. And if, upon praying about it, God burdens you with a message rooted in scripture that may well disturb the status quo, you must deliver it. And you must do so boldly.
Perhaps one of the ways you can speak more boldly about the issues on which your church needs to meditate and respond with repentance is to know ahead of time that preaching about this issue IS doing something about this issue.
Preaching changes the game. That’s the reason I started Preaching for Change. I believe that few forces are as powerful for motivating people to bring kingdom renewal to the world around them as preaching.
So when the world is unjust and people are oppressed, speak up. When people who could be fed are going hungry, speak up. When Christians are apathetic to suffering, speak up. And know that speaking up IS doing something: it IS taking action.
And if no one else ever says it, thank you for doing something about the issues that grieve the Holy Spirit by speaking up about them.
This article about doing something (like preaching) originally appeared here, and is used by permission.