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Preach Like It's Good News!

You don’t have to be the ultimate sermonator to give the good news of Jesus—just be YOU! It’s crazy how hard it is to just be yourself, isn’t it? (Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way!) I speak from experience, though!

This one concept nearly kept me out of church ministry. I would look at the local and national preacher/pastor landscape and think to myself, “Lord, you gotta be kidding me … you got the wrong guy!” I cant lead, preach or teach like Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, Mark Driscoll, Miles McPherson or Mark Batterson. But you know what I’m learning!? I CAN lead, preach and teach like Travis Hearn. And apparently God saw something in me, just like He sees in you, that is beneficial to the kingdom of God. Be YOU.  

I’m just a regular dude. I preach like a regular dude, I talk like a regular dude, I think like a regular dude and I pray like a regular dude. I gotta say, being me really works for me. 

God made you to be you. If you don’t be you, nobody else is going to be you. God created you to be you, so don’t try to be anybody else!

I shamelessly admit that throughout my ministry years I’ve tried to lead, preach, teach and “be” like many of my pastor heroes who just weren’t me! I mean, I’ve tried preaching like T.D. Jakes, clearly not enough diaphragm (it didn’t work even WITH a B3 Hammond behind me!). I’ve tried preaching like Rick Warren (only with socks! Maybe that’s where I went wrong). I’m not smart enough to be Batterson, not deep enough to be Driscoll, not cool enough to be Furtick, not creative enough to be McPherson and not bold enough to be Noble (well, maybe noble, but not Perry Noble). But I AM Travis enough to be Travis—and YOU are YOU enough to be YOU!

When preaching the Good News, BE YOU. We need YOU. Your church needs YOU. And God needs YOU!  

Thought #3: Be Biblical. Acts 17:11 says,“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

Be noble. Be biblical. Handle God’s Word with absolute protection and care.

I know, we’re all pastors and preachers—we got this one down. But I feel like I HAVE to say it. Be biblical.    

Do YOU like it when someone spreads YOUR word with inaccuracies? When they mishandle YOUR word? I certainly don’t. 

It’s extremely frustrating when I tell somebody something, only for them to turn around and tell others “sort of” what I said or “nothing at all” of what I said and mishandle my word. 

Make no mistake about it—at Impact Church, we have fun, laugh, joke, cry and we don’t take ourselves very seriously, but we do take God and God’s Holy Word VERY seriously. The Bible is holy. It’s God’s Word.  Each Sunday, I present God’s Word with a reverence and holy fear.  

The Bible says about the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  

I love that: “All Scripture is God-breathed.”

I also love that Jesus read from the Bible Isaiah 61:1 when He stood up in the church and talked about being anointed to preach the Good News. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 

Look, whether you prefer to teach verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, Testament by Testament, topical, life application or a combination of all of the above—be biblical. Hermeneutics, homiletics, apologetics—be biblical. 

Teach the scriptures with accuracy. 2 Peter 3:16 tells us the mishandling of the Word can be dangerous—even destructive. 

Again, be fun, be you, be biblical and …

Thought #4: Be Available. Jesus was WITH the people. He was available. Jesus didn’t fly in like Superman wearing a Jesus-cape and rescuing people from the miry clay, dropping them on the solid rock to stay and then flying right back out again. He wasn’t in some cave in a green room snackin’ on figs and olives awaiting his grand introduction before he preached or did miracles. He was available and with the people. That makes the Good News VERY Good News! 

Jesus was and is available, and we need to be the same way. My advice is to lose the velvet wingback chair on the stage and get out into the lobby and be available. Your people need you. You will be blown away by what this will do for your church culture. You’ll go from a preacher to a pastor.

Being available means you’re vulnerable—just like Jesus was. You never know what somebody might say to you. Being available also means you’re not busy with something else—like finishing a sermon! I get it, most of us pastors are busier than a one-legged person in a butt-kicking contest. But be available.

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Travis Hearn is the senior pastor of ImpactChurch.com located in Scottsdale, Arizona and is also the Team Pastor for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Impact Church has experienced explosive growth and was recognized as an Outreach 100 Fastest Growing Church in America in 2013, ranking #2 by percentage and #9 overall. Travis has served as Team Pastor for the Phoenix Suns since 2002 and also serves as the Oakland A’s Major League Baseball Team during Spring Training. Travis is married to Natalie and they have three kids: Kylie, Josiah and Jazzlyn. The newest member of the Hearn family is a five-pound full grown Toy Schnauzer named Rocco. Contact him on Twitter and Instagram @TravisHearn.