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Don’t Undermine God’s Word

5. Remember that this Word is far more important than anything you will say about it. 

(You may have to keep reminding yourself of that, because the human spirit will insist that the message you have labored over all week deserves the stronger billing.)

6. Do not try to overshadow the Word with your stories or preaching.

7. Do not do anything that undermines your people’s confidence in the inspiration of the Word of God.

I’m thinking of a pastor who spent the entire sermon time telling his people that the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman (John 8) is not authentic and not to be trusted. Toward the end of his sermon, he said, “However, this should not cause you to distrust Scripture.” Too late. He had already done that to them. (There is a way to present such stories as this and the ending of Mark’s gospel. But it should be done carefully and lovingly.)

8. Teach your people to sit before the Word as an obedient pupil and to listen for His voice.

In presenting a Bible to an unbeliever who had agreed to read it, I suggested that he begin each time with the prayer, “Lord, speak to me. I’m listening.”

That is a prayer the Lord wants to honor.

Finally, my brethren …

This is a lifelong process, pastor and teacher. You may never reach the point where you master the art to your satisfaction, but it’s well worth the effort.

If, in calling on your members in their home, you discover that they have been reading the Bible regularly and loving it, take that as a compliment. You’re doing something right!