Honor your heroes with 24 Memorial Day Quotes for Preaching.
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Easter is a big day for every preacher. It is called the super bowl of the Christian calendar. And for good reason. Most churches will see their highest attendance of the year this weekend. Pastors across America are sweating about this weekend, the details, their sermon, trying to come up with something fresh to not miss an opportunity.

The way we preach on Easter, though, should be the way we preach every weekend. Here are some things we should know and do every Easter (and every other weekend) in our sermons:

1. Point people to Jesus.

This seems obvious, but it isn’t. On Easter, we talk about Jesus, point people to Him, and talk about how He is the hero of the story and not us, how He is the answer we are looking for. Do this the other 51 sermons you will preach this year as well.

2. Preach with boldness

I have sat through too many sermons, and sadly, preached too many sermons as if I or the preacher weren’t sure about what they were saying. Pastors, do your homework, be prayed up, confessed up, and then stand up and say, “This is what the Bible says, and this is why you need to listen.” Then say it and sit down and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

3. Be clear.

Whatever you ask people to do after your message, be clear. Have one or two next steps, that’s it. Be clear. Say, “If you want to respond tonight, here is how to respond _______________.” Leave no doubt as to what they should do next.

4. The Holy Spirit likes to show up when we talk about Jesus.

That’s true, and I don’t know what else to say about it, but it is true.

5. Know that everyone is cheering you on

On Easter, people in your church will bring someone with them. This might be the first time they've brought someone to your church. While this brings added pressure to every preacher, this is also a comfort. Everyone in your church who brings someone this week or any other week is your biggest fan. They are praying for you, cheering you on, hoping that you will give it your all. They are sitting in that seat next to their friend asking God to move through you for their friend's sake. Always remember, preaching is a team sport.

6. You don’t need to hit a home run

This seems counterintuitive for Easter, but follow me. The goal every week is to get on base, not to hit a home run. Home runs are great, but home run hitters tend to have a low batting average. Get on base. Each week when you preach, the goal is to help people take one more step in their spiritual journey; that might mean salvation, but it may also mean they just come back next week. Both are a win.

7. Eternities and lives hang in the balance

There is a weight to preaching that is hard to describe and understand unless you do it. One pastor described it as reaching onto the road to hell and pulling people back. Not theologically accurate, but it is how it feels. When I preach, I think of that guy sitting in the back row who showed up this weekend telling God, “You have one last chance; either move in my life tonight, or I’m not coming back.” There are couples there who are ready to throw in the towel, students who are ready to stop living a life of purity, men and women looking for hope and answers. What you say when you open God’s Word matters.

8. Give them hope.

That is the message of Jesus: hope. We are broken, sinful people who can’t fix ourselves. Trying hard won’t do it. Our only hope is to follow the Man who already completed it.

Those are just a few truths for you to keep in mind this week as you prep to stand before your church and open God’s Word. It is an unbelievable responsibility and a great honor.

Josh Reich is the lead pastor of Revolution Church in Tucson, AZ, which is trying to live out the rhythms of Jesus. The church's dream is to "help people find their way back to God."

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John E Miller

commented on Apr 6, 2012

#4 "The Holy Spirit likes to show up when we talk about Jesus." I think that this young man needs to do two things, perhaps simultaneously - get down on his knees and read his Bible. The Holy Spirit does not ever "show up". He is in the world indwelling every born-again child of God. He takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us. He does not speak of Himself. He convicts men of sin. He is always present wherever there is an individual or a fellowship. He is the Eternal Almighty God. We must regard Him with the utmost reverence and not as some visitor who may or may not choose to "turn up" when Christians gather in the nmae of Jesus. Loose familiarity in our thinking, speaking or writing about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is abhorrent to God. He is infinitely great and glorious while we are children of the dust. One other thing, the Lord Jesus jealously guarded the Person of the Holy Spirit and His service in the world with a grave warning in Matthew 12:31-32.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 6, 2012

I am troubled with the theology of the Holy Spirit not "showing up" at a service, when His assignment is convicting the world of sin. If He did not "show-up," He would be disobedient to His calling, which would be blasphemy. More could be said, but I encourage all preachers of the Gospel to know that He even "shows up" when a non-Christian preaches. Many men have testified to this fact in their personal salvation stories.

Doug Conley

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Dr. Kauffman, are you saying that the promise of the indwelling Spirit is false? And "when a non-Christian preaches": what's that all about? I would never allow that. I'm not sure where this theology comes from, but it's nowhere in MY Bible.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Doug . . . Somewhere our communication lines on this subject are down. I firmly believe and preach the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit without any hesitation. Ok? Secondly, I have held pastors' conferences at my church where thousands of pastors only attended. At the end of the event, an invitation to receive Christ is given, and scores of pastors receive Christ as Lord and Savior and give a public testimony to the crowd, how they had believed in Christianity, but had never believed on the Lord Jesus Christ in their heart, but only confessed liturgical confessions written hundreds of years ago. However, the power of the Spoken Word is so powerful that if the rocks cried out the Gospel, folks could and would get saved and become a Child of God. I have had pastors on my staff who testified that while in the Christian ministry, they had passed all of the Ordination Exams, but did know Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. Make sense?

Michael James Monaghan

commented on Apr 6, 2012

I feel sorry for Josh Reich getting some stick for saying when Christ is preached ' the Holy Spirit shows up ' Surely Josh just meant that the Holy Spirits presence is more noticeable as signs may be seen that He is working on peoples hearts and minds accompanying the preaching and you may see results .that this is so .?

Ron Hoffmann

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Thanks Josh - good reminders! I just appreciate your heart in wanting to encourage and challenge your brothers. I understood your intent, although it seems some were not tuned in to simply hear an encouraging word.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Ron, if you are including me in the "some," of your reply, I take great umbride at that false assumption. In the words of Scripture, "He is of age, let him speak for himself,'' applies to every contributor. Next time, tell your audience who you are referencing, which is my practice.

Mark Baker

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Some good points and yet I, too, am deeply troubled by the "God showing up" mentality. Whatever the person's intent, this faulty idea implies that God is not there, or otherwise would not have been there (except if we, through our devices, somehow got Him to "show up). That is repulsive on so many different levels. Again, those who state this notion don't always realize this,, but it is deeply offensive. Also, what determines if "God shows up" to these people? Usually it means more people and how these people feel.

Jimmie Tempano

commented on Apr 6, 2012

It seems people don?t mind putting some spice in their comment so I will add my own. I am truly amazed that some people seem bound and determined to misunderstand a person?s intent and miss the whole point. I know that you guys are all extremely intelligent. You have all studied the scriptures thoroughly and understand them perfectly. Your doctrines and theologies are without flaw (although you may disagree with one another on some points.) In Genesis 28, Jacob expressed that the Lord must be in that place where he saw the ladder extending to heaven. Did he not know that the Lord is present everywhere? In my experience and others, the Lord?s presence is sensed more intensely in some places and at some times than at others. I think the Lord intends that to happen and I think this is what Josh was referring to. I have certainly been in some places where I experienced the Lord?s presence in a very strong way and I have been in some church services where I wondered where the Lord was because He certainly didn?t seem to be there. I am not sure if He would have been welcome if He had shown up physically.

Steven Farless

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Love it....good job

Samuel Stone

commented on Apr 6, 2012

The points are simplistic and I don't see the specificness for Easter as the title claims. It's not helpful to use the occasion to name the title without having any relevant substance to share. It sounds like a blogger trying to squeeze out a blog to attract readers by retitling an old blog for the occasion. As for the Holy Spirit line. It should have been mentioned in item #1 since the point is talking about Jesus. Dr. Luke Kauffman's point is well taken, even though he is a little too reactive. Holly Spirit is like wind, He is always with the believers, but He will "show up" (if it means showing His power) whenever He wants and wherever He wants.

Mh Constantine

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Yes, the spirit indwells believers. Basic, fundamental, and vital. But let me take you back to the day of my salvation, more than 45 years ago. I went to church as an unsaved teenager and member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Though I understood nothing in the sermons and little in the songs, when the pastor in that church asked, "Is there anyone here who wants to believe in Jesus for the very first time?" I was aware of something drawing me, attracting me, disturbing me. It was unlike anything I had felt, anywhere, at anytime. And it was not because of the emotional pull, for that church was not good at creating an emotional pull. So, though every believer in that building was indwelt, I was not. I guess the Spirit "showed up" in Josh's terminology, for He drew me to Christ. Like others, I am not fond of that terminology, but I can live with it in the proper context.

Dav Ross

commented on Apr 6, 2012

Thanks Josh, I totally got what you were saying about the Holy Spirit. Thanks for your encouraging article.

Steve Mack

commented on Apr 7, 2012

Great article...your points are spot on...Jesus kept things simple too!

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 7, 2012

Samuel Stone . . . I have given much thought and prayer to your analysis of me in your blog, where you say I am "a little too reactive." What makes me examine my heart is that you use "little too" which cancels each other out, and that leaves he is "reactive. You cannot be "too little reactive," for the reader sees "much" in "too" and "little" in contradiction with "much." I have shared blogs 2 and 4 with some colleagues who are valued critics, and in summary they said, "That is typical Kauffman dialog, to the point with Biblical illustrations." I have told my seminary doctoral students that they should never enter in ministerial psycho analysis, for they should stay with their calling and judge not the heart of man. I have tried to live by that rule: "Judge not, lest you be judged." "A little too reactive" is a term that we should never share with others in public about another servant of Christ. Ok?

David Peet

commented on Apr 7, 2012

Thank you, Josh. Lots of good things to keep in the front of our minds.

Richard Behrens

commented on Apr 7, 2012

let me encourage you Josh! God uses the simple things to confound the "wise"... I hate the critics that can't take a word of encouragement without tearing it apart! Why can't they just say "Thanks for the encouragment!"

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 8, 2012

My friend Richard . . . Do you really as a minster of the Gospel promote class warfare when you say that you hate critics in your post? Where is that to be found in the Beatitudes? If we hate critics, we are haters of those whom Christ loves enought to die for them. Are you in the ministry to teach your followers to hate? I have never seen in print or in spoken speech a man of God say that he hates a certain class of people. Critics are a blessing to us, for they sharpen our skill-sets, for there just may be an ounce of truth in their criticism mixed with a pound of false assumptions. Please pull your post, for it is an embarrassment to all men who are called to bring the lost to Jesus!!! Ok?

Mark Baker

commented on Apr 9, 2012

Richard, I hope you see the irony (and hypocrisy) of criticizing and condemning and (inaccurately) judging others as "criticizing." You judge them as criticizing, but could it be that those people are concerned about the accuracy of the "encouragement"? Is it not our responsibility to discern and "expose (Eph 5:11) any falsehood? Agree or not with the conclusion, but instead of judging our hearts please try to understand our concerns and where we are coming from--at least before you condemn us. I'm not bothered by your criticism as much as your hypocrisy and discouraging discernment. If there were more discernment these days from leaders then these errors would not be so much of a colossal problem in the church.

Fernando Villegas

commented on Apr 9, 2012

Mark Baker, I appreciate you coming to Dr. Kauffman's defense. But I cannot help but feel hurt that no one ever came to my defense when Dr. Kauffman called me an unhappy servant of God and someone who gained pleasure by causing division on this board, and constantly judged my heart and motives; when all I have ever intended to do was to share my own point of view. Are those whom we agree with the only ones worthy of being defended? I've tried to make my peace with what happened. And I know I, myself, was not always fair to him in my writing, for which I apologize, Dr. Kauffman, if you are still keeping track of this conversation. We have both been quite respectful to each other in our recent conversations, for which I am very grateful. I guess what I'm trying to say is that each of us here needs to be more intentional about making sure our language builds each other up rather than tearing each other down. We can disagree without being disagreeable.!

Mark Baker

commented on Apr 9, 2012

Fernando, I did not have anyone specifically in mind (you, me, Dr. Kauffman, etc). Not that I did not, or do not, want to defend you or anyone else specifically, my point is that it seems that after several comments on an article someone inevitably comes in--does not like what they read in the comments--and then complains and criticizes "others" (generically) for expressing concerns or pointing out errors. As an example, "Wow, this is quite a critical, judgmental crowd. Just take all the good stuff and stop complaining. You know, Jesus would just want us to all get along and not challenge each others' writing. I judge you all (that disagree with me) as being judgmental!" What I wanted to point out in this is that the self-defeating mindset of "I judge you as wrong for judging." Having said that, Fernando, I am sorry if you were mistreated and am glad if you were able to work it out. I wish this were a forum to learn and for iron sharpening iron, but because we are human we all have that potential to cross the line and hurt others. That, again, is why I am pointing out this pattern that shuts down and discourages discernment.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 9, 2012

Fernando . . . thank you for your observations, and your biggest defence was your apology, which I accepted unconditionally! I am blessed and encouraged that you are now deleting harsh adjectives and adverbs to which, if I recall, I objected concerning professional writing. Yes, I cherish your friendship, and will always admire and respect your right to self expression. I feel that in some of our colleagues these blogs bring out the worst in their skill-sets of a monologue and or dialog. I feel that to watch a grave injury in communication is a responsibility we all have not to turn the other way, as the majority of our friends did in the story of the Good Samaritan. All of us are called to speak the truth in love, which I know you affirm. Ok?

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 10, 2012

(Repeat due to a typo) Richard Behrens . . . I humbly come to you in the Spirit of Christ to request you again to remove your post. I showed it totw attorneys, and they said you are quilty of breaking Federal Law by using Hate Speach, which is a Federal Crime. It you choose not to pull your post in 48 hours, it is now their responsibility to file in Federal Court charges against you for using the Internet to employ the crime of Hate Speach. Please pull the post now for Jesus' sake and for your freedom as a US citizen. May God bless you as you do the right thing!!!w

Dennis Cocks

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Luke Kauffman you are joking right? Hate crimes! REALLY???? 1 Cor. 6:1-8 comes to mind also.

Mark Baker

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Something is not right here, has doctor Luke been hacked? The many typos are a clear sign, yet to make it worse there was a previous one that was deleted because of even more errors. Then a new one that was supposed to clean up the errors, but still has many silly errors. It does not fit with what he has previous written, not to mention the tone and point.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Doug, my dear friend. . . The typos are due to my being on Oxy for severe ear pain, where my ears were tightly closed. I stopped taking the Oxy, this weekend, for I had to address at 7:00 a.m., 1,000 people at the Easter Sunrise Service hosted by the Natural Bridge Hotel, Natural Bridge, VA, where 20 publically received the Risen Christ as Savior and Lord. I hope you will forgive me for Oxy effects? Please do!!! Now to the subject at hand, Hate Speech is that which singles out a particular group of the human race by a designated title and refers to them as hated ones. I have tried to ask our good brother to pull his post, but why he refuses I do not know. I am not threatening him. I am trying to help and assist him from possible legal action by others on the net, who will read that he hates people, not just their act. As we all know, Christ loves sinners, but hates sin, not the sinner!!! If anyone wishes to write to me personally, by address is messenger2@msn.com. This may be more ethical then the way our dialog has been going. Is that Ok? If I have offended by brethren, I quickly apologize!!! I have no rights, just forgiveness received and forgiveness given. Thank you for allowing me to help carry your burden of concern over my typos

Fernando Villegas

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Mark Baker, I didn't mean to single you out personally, I guess the hurt feelings still linger on, even though I'm working on getting past it. I appreciate your words, though, and I do understand the point you were trying to make and agree with it...Dr. Kauffman, I appreciate your response in post #22 and am encouraged by the tenor of our more recent exchanges...as far as Dr. Kauffman's posts from #23 on, they do seem quite a bit out of character, and the email address he mentions seems rather fishy, but who knows, really. For what it's worth, Dr. Luke Kauffman did speak at an Easter sunrise service at the Natural Bridge Hotel in Virginia--a simple Google search confirms it. If he is in fact dealing with some issues with prescription medication, I wish him a speedy recovery.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Luke Kauffman, if you think what Richard Behrens wrote constitutes "hate speach" then the Oxy must be affecting more than your typos.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Thank you, Fernando very much for your kind consideration, all though I am surprised that we are at the where the minister of God cannot be believed until Google confirms it. Doug, I forgive you for your insensitive tone toward my issues that require Oxy. It is a miracle of God that I could speak on to 1,000 on Sunday with 20 receiving Christ while in a temp state of withdrawal. Again, you are forgiven, for to whom much is forgiven, (me), loveth much, so said Jesus, and I love you much no matter how you handle my issues. Ok? Oh, and yes, brethren my email address is official; try it and I will respond. This is a new doubt for me!

Dennis Cocks

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Not sure what is going on here. I'm not Doug but I think Luke is talking to me.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Doug, my dear friend. . . The typos are due to my being on Oxy for severe ear pain, where my ears were tightly closed. I stopped taking the Oxy, this weekend, for I had to address at 7:00 a.m., 1,000 people at the Easter Sunrise Service hosted by the Natural Bridge Hotel, Natural Bridge, VA, where 20 publically received the Risen Christ as Savior and Lord. I hope you will forgive me for Oxy effects? Please do!!! Now to the subject at hand, Hate Speech is that which singles out a particular group of the human race by a designated title and refers to them as hated ones. I have tried to ask our good brother to pull his post, but why he refuses I do not know. I am not threatening him. I am trying to help and assist him from possible legal action by others on the net, who will read that he hates people, not just their act. As we all know, Christ loves sinners, but hates sin, not the sinner!!! If anyone wishes to write to me personally, by address is messenger2@msn.com. This may be more ethical then the way our dialog has been going. Is that Ok? If I have offended by brethren, I quickly apologize!!! I have no rights, just forgiveness received and forgiveness given. Thank you for allowing me to help carry your burden of concern over my typos

Fernando Villegas

commented on Apr 10, 2012

Dr. Kauffman, don't take the Google search personally. This isn't about not believing a minister of God until Google confirms it. It is about the reality that hacking someone's account on the internet is not that unusual. If in fact your lastest posts have been affected by prescription medication, I trust that when you are back to normal, you will recognize that these posts have come across as a charicature of who you are. Of course, if the account was indeed hacked, then I hope the real Dr. Kauffman gets that resolved soon.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 11, 2012

Fernando . . . To wrap things up . . . I just came home from my Christian physician to ask about the medical advice you gave me, yesterday. I will not use quote marks, ok? I said that their is this Seventh Day Adventist blogger who tells the internet that my taking Oxy brings out the real charicature of who I am. She began to laugh extensively. She said I am sure glad you told me he was a practicing Seventh Day Adventist, for I guessed right as to where you were going, for they love to analysis medicine. I said, he even goes so far as to fact check the Internet so as to verify my speaking engagements. She said tell him if his theory were true then you would always have been a poor automobile driver since we would not allow you to drive while on the medicine. You are not the first patient of mine who has been concerned with what his faith tells people about medicine. No charge, today, and go home in perfect peace. Case dismissed!!!

Dennis Cocks

commented on Apr 11, 2012

Luke, if I were you I would have blamed the Oxy for your posts, because if that is how you really think I feel sorry for you. I think you need to "pull your posts because they truly are an embarrassment to all men who are called to bring the lost to Jesus!!! May God bless you as you do the right thing. Ok?"

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 11, 2012

Fernando . . . I just received an email to run a history on your comments on Sermon Central. I could not believe that there are numerous judgemental arguments who have with good men of God. You need to read the history of your fighting spirit that is forever recorded in IT history.

Dr. Luke Kauffman

commented on Apr 11, 2012

Sorry, but I cannot follow your logic. I write blogs for professional organizations, and get great reviews. Sorry you feel that way. But we do live in a free expression society.

Fernando Villegas

commented on Apr 11, 2012

Alright, you keep calling Dennis Cocks "Doug", I don't know what medical advice you think I gave you, and your posts just keep getting weirder and weirder. I'm now reasonably sure Dr. Kauffman's account has been hacked, so I will no longer feed the troll.

Stephen Johnson

commented on Apr 3, 2015

This is, by far, the best comments section in Sermon Central history. Fantastic!,

Anthony Collins

commented on Apr 3, 2015

Thanks Josh! I get it. In the words of one of my mentors "Some people just have too much learning and not enough burning". Be blessed and have a glorious Resurrection Sunday!

Verity Kew

commented on Apr 3, 2015

I am sorry, but I am shocked at the tone of these comments, as we are all brothers and sisters in the Lord...surely this conversation is not done with love.

Kenneth Mackie Sr

commented on Apr 6, 2015

The Holy Spirit stirred up the flame of truth in the Easter message, "He's Alive!" -and two persons accepted Christ. Thank God for you sharing the spiritual tips on preaching a relevant Gospel to a people to reach them where they are. - Ken Mackie, Johnson Memorial Baptist Church, SE Washington, DC

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