Preaching Articles

One of the greatest weaknesses we see from leadership in the church is not understanding the audience the leader is speaking to.

Here's a big case in point:

Today, we often see and hear leaders take to a wide stage in front of a large congregation, where they routinely challenge people to "pursue greatness." That's a challenge Jesus did not spend time making to His followers, yet many church leaders today spend an inordinate amount of time on.

As a result, I've heard from many who sit through these messages and increasingly feel inadequate. They don't have "great dreams" of leading congregations, organizations, or corporations. Their gifts, talents, skills, interests, and direct leading from the Holy Spirit don't have anything to do with "pursuing greatness."

Instead, what these men and women see as doing something "great" is being the best parent they can be, working on having a great marriage that lasts, being a true and loyal friend to others, caring about the less fortunate and those in need around them, and doing their best to see and use opportunities to be a witness for Christ.

If they can pull that off well and consistently, they believe they will have done something great with their lives.

They are right!

They don't have the dream of leading thousands, writing a best-seller, standing in a spotlight on any stage, or having any celebrity status. Instead, they want to pursue the more modest "dreams" God has given them.

So why do these leaders continue to take the stage and challenge them to greatness?

Perhaps in their own preoccupation with, and pursuit of, greatness they have lost touch with who they are talking to.

Who are you talking to?

Editor's Note: Do you think there's a problem with encouraging your congregation to  "dream big" and pursue greatness for the kingdom? Is this a trend or something more substantial?

Minister, clinical pastoral counselor, life and business coach, certified personal trainer, writer, leader, businessman James Scott has done a few things over the years, but being a servant of Jesus Christ is why he exists, and the greatest passion of his life is to help people better understand, and apply, God's Word to their lives.

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David Buffaloe

commented on Jul 24, 2012

good point

Keith B

commented on Jul 24, 2012

huh? What was the point of this? To be the best you can be? Is that the Gospel?

Doug Conley

commented on Jul 24, 2012

Jesus made the point several times in scripture that there is only one way to achieve greatness: through humility. Let us not measure greatness by worldly standards, but those given by our Lord: those who will be greatest will be the least. We call Him Teacher and Lord, and we are right!

Min.janice Willoughby

commented on Jul 24, 2012

very good point

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