Monday, May 4, 2009

Why I am Not an Inspirational Speaker

I shy away from being called a “preacher.” Whenever Pastor Jeremy or Cole calls me “Pastor Annie,” I probably look down or blush or say, “I’m not a Pastor.” I do that because I am not really a Pastor, I have had no education and really, I am only 17. I feel that my Pastor is a pastor, he is old and wise and has been through seminary. Sometimes when I get up in front of people and deliver a sermon, I don’t call it preaching. Sometimes I just say that I have spoke or I am speaking. However, if I call it preaching or speaking, one thing I am not is a motivational speaker.

I’m not saying that there is anything at all wrong with a motivational speaker. After all, there is a time and a place for motivational speaking. However, I do not want to waste my pulpit. I am not going to get up there and deliver a happy message filled with happiness, cotton candy and to be quite frank, fluff. When I get up and stand behind the pulpit (or the stand, you get the idea) I am going to preach the word. I used to find it really hard to mention the Gospel in my message, but ever since I have really done a lot of putting together sermons, I now find that I cannot preach or write a sermon without telling everyone about the amazing grace and the sacrifice God made for all of our sins.

Delivering a motivational speech is great for people when they are down and it is great for people who want to be encouraged. And don’t get me wrong, I really want to encourage people, but if someone who walks in while I am speaking and has a real problem, like if they are dying of cancer or have just lost a friend to suicide, I want people to realize that there is a God who can save their lives. I don’t just want people to walk out saying, “That was sure nice, I feel great.” Warm, fuzzy feelings are great, but they don’t last. They don’t keep you out of hell.

I am really not trying to be down on motivational speakers, but I just want to make it my mission to never waste an opportunity to preach the Word. I want to preach the Kingdom of God. I want to preach the Cross. I want to preach the Grace that saved me while I was still a wretched sinner. I want everyone to know that Jesus saves. I want everyone to know that they are dying and if they aren’t careful, they are headed straight to hell. And I can’t do that if I am too busy speaking about success or happiness or cotton candy fluffy messages.

(Now I should just find out how to witness without starting with, "You're going to hell.")

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