Preaching Articles

It’s inevitable. No matter what line of work you’re in or how much you love it, no matter how good you are at what you do, sooner or later you’re going to get into a funk.

It happens to everyone. The best authors experience seasons where they hate writing and are lucky to have one good sentence in a hundred pages. The most passionate musicians have days where they don’t even want to pick up their instrument.
 
While funks are unavoidable, we don’t have to resign ourselves to them. From my own experience, I have identified four responses we can take to combat being victims to these times of low inspiration.

1. Don’t extrapolate your future based on your funk.

A natural tendency is to think that your funk is permanent. It’s a sign of a major change in performance or motivation that will never correct itself. It’s not. Don’t mistake momentary moods for permanent paradigm shifts. Your funk is only a small part of your story. Just turn the page and start your next chapter.

2. Give yourself the advice you’d give someone else. 

Many times, we know just what to say to other people when they’re in their own funks.
 
Go outside for a while. Escape from the prison of your own mind and emotions and do something nice for someone else.
 
These things have worked for other people. That’s because they work for everybody. Including you.

3. Don’t justify your funk. 

Trying to find the source of your funk won’t make you feel any better about how you’re feeling. In fact, it will only lead you to wallow in self-pity, which does nothing but create a cycle of funks, which only leads to more self-pity and even deeper funks. If you let the same stories of funk repeat themselves, your overall story will never progress.

4. Work, don’t worry. 

I’ve been saying this for a long time now—stop wasting time wondering whether or not your normal level of motivation will ever return. Work harder than ever, whether you feel like it or not. You can get back the motivation you didn’t have while working. You can’t get back the work you missed out on while you were waiting to feel motivated to do it.
 
If you’re in a funk right now, stay faithful to the work God has given you today. And praise Him the second your motivation catches up.

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. The church has been listed by Outreach Magazine as one of the fastest growing and largest churches in America. 

Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the ChatterboxGreater, and Sun Stand Still.

Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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Talk about it...

Keith B

commented on May 8, 2012

Feeling down and out? Work harder! Sadly, that's what his version of the Gospel is all about, too. Sorry Steven, you're just not pastor material.

Elver Mendenhall

commented on May 8, 2012

I don't normally write in to this site, but I had to respond to k.b.'s comments. Sadly, k.b., that was one of the most discouraging/self righteous comments that I have heard. Here you have a young man going for it and you say such a thing. You may not agree with all that he said, but to say that he's "not pastor material" is unbelievably smug and condescending. I hope that you will reconsider the things you say. Steve, keep going and keep growing. Good, thought provoking article.

Keith B

commented on May 8, 2012

Have you ever listened to him preach? Do you know what his church teaches? Have you seen his ministry philosophy? He's a punk pretending to be a pastor. We should not be looking to him for advice.

Jimmie Tempano

commented on May 8, 2012

k b is the difinitive person. He has spoken so all is settled. We must all be silenced by his wonderful truth. No other opinions or comments need be offrered. Thank you k b for your glorious truth.

Jeff Steen

commented on May 8, 2012

Appreciate the advice. We all go through those times. Especially liked #3, "Don't Justify Your Funk@. So true. Thanks Steve for the blessing you are to the Kingdom.

Tony Russo

commented on May 8, 2012

Scripture shows us the failings that God's people have gone through like Elijah and David so that we don't feel all alone in times of stress. When we feel down and out, the Comforter is there to move us forward in faith and trust His direction. He drives us by His love to look to Him. When we accept His gentle touch He drives us to prayer and the study of Scripture. When we respond we find ourselves desiring to go to a mission field or around our neighborhood looking for the lost. This deepening drive gave the disciples the passion to "work harder." Paul says it best in Col 1:25-29, "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily," NKJV. K.B. If we are in Christ as Paul was, we do work harder but it is to the glory of God. Here's another statement Paul makes that we should keep in mind when commenting on those that may have a different point of view of the gospel than us . Phil 1:18 "What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice." NKJVl

Keith B

commented on May 8, 2012

Yeah, Jimmie. I know. I probably live in my mom's basement and blog away while sitting in a beanbag chair, eating cheetos, right? I mean...why should we care about silly little things like if a guy preaches soundly and all? Sorry for daring to express a negative view of someone. Only your negative views are allowed, I guess.

Zachary Bartels

commented on May 8, 2012

Elver, yeah, kb sounds harsh (although not as harsh as Paul or Jesus often is in Scripture), but if you listen to some of this guy's sermons (and I've listened to dozens), there's really no other conclusion to reach. Then there's the whole Code Orange Revival deal when he erased Matt Chandler from the rebroadcast as if he'd never preached, when he was one of a VERY few preaching an orthodox Gospel.

Zachary Bartels

commented on May 8, 2012

Okay, k b's last comment reveals that he listens regularly to FftF, which means he's probably heard the same Furtick sermons I have...

Keith B

commented on May 8, 2012

Yah...Zach. I'm a crew member. I like me some Rosebrough.

Keith B

commented on May 8, 2012

Yah...Zach. I'm a crew member. I like me some Rosebrough.

Stan Roam

commented on May 8, 2012

Why can't we find the good in these articles. You and I may not agree on some things that pastors' post, but accept the good. Do not we pastors teach to love on another and expect it of our people, then we act differently? If it is not heresy, leave the man of alone. I for one read these articles to find encouragement and hope in a very lonely calling, I do not need the pastor bashing read much of the time. Thank for the article! I will us it for His glory as I lead God's local church.

Keith B

commented on May 8, 2012

stan...what is good about this trite little article? Seriously...is there nothing better worth writing than "How to get rid of your ministry funk"? All he says is to just try harder and eventually you'll feel it. Really? Wow...that's deep. I'm sorry....Furtick is a wolf in sheep's clothing. We shouldn't be trying to "find the good" in him...we should be shouting him down as bad news.

Myron Heckman

commented on May 8, 2012

Another way to deal with a ministry funk is from Saul?s conversion story. When the Lord knocked him to the ground, and Saul realized he had been dedicating himself exactly against God?s will, he was thrown quickly into trembling and astonishment ? maybe a kind of funk. He asked ?Lord, what do you want me to do?? It?s always a good question for us to ask to get our bearings. When you get your answer, then do it.

Robert Sickler

commented on May 8, 2012

It is interesting that one person would be so down on another. Don't know Steve but I have visited his web sites and looked at what he has documented he believes. IF this is what he believes then I find no reason for slamming him. I am a fundamentalist Christian and hold fast to the fundamental essentials of Christianity. I despise liberalism, the prosperity gospel and the Emerging Church; but nothing on Steve's web site indicate he is of this ilk. Therefore I give the article a "good advice and well said."

Keith B

commented on May 8, 2012

Robert, I would suggest you go and listen to some of his sermons. He tends to turn everything in the Bible into a metaphor on victorious Christian living. Problem is...some of the OT stories are not about us. Go look up the Code Orange "revival" that he put on. He's just not a solid preacher and he shouldn't be telling others how to do ministry.

Robert Sickler

commented on May 9, 2012

k b, I did take the time to look deeper into what Steve really stands for. In my humble opinion, using a Jesus analogy, a cup can be clean on the outside but the inside is a different story. The way I see it, a cup can simply be dirty on the inside or the cup can be dirty with poison. From a scriptural perspective, the inside of the cup is poisoned by such things as liberal, prosperity gospel, post-modern and Emergent doctrines. On the other hand, shallow preachers and purveyors of warm and fuzzy feelings simply dirty the inside of the cup. In either case, I would not recommend drinking from any cup that is dirty on the inside. Thus, I can see where you are coming from and understand your posts. I share your frustrations concerning the rapid spread of false and shallow doctrines ? perhaps we are entering the great falling away. Still, I am only called to oppose the doctrine; I have no commission to personally attack those who tickle people?s ears with false doctrine. Only Jesus has the authority to deal with those who say to Him: ?Lord, Lord, did we not ??

Matt Krachunis

commented on May 9, 2012

I think that Pastors that post comments to this site should have the courage to admit to who they are, what church they pastor and what doctrine they believe. My name is Matt Krachunis. I preach at www.faithandvictory.com and I approve this message.

Jeff Combs

commented on May 9, 2012

I agree w k.b. on this one. Elijah was in a funk and God didn't tell him to work harder. Instead he sent his replacement. I know pastors that tried this approach and they had breakdowns - emotional, physical and spiritual. Simply not the right answer here. As a matter of fact, number 4 contradicts number 2(at least for me). I would give someone else the advice to slow down and spend time with God away from the speed of ministry.

Jeff Combs

commented on May 12, 2012

"Every now and then go away and take a little relaxation, because when you come back to your work, your judgment will be surer. To remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment. Go some distance away, because then the work appears smaller." - Leonardo da Vinci.

John E Miller

commented on May 13, 2012

Read this article carefully. It suggests that if we are in some kind of difficulty we find the answer in ourselves, by our own efforts and relying on our natural ability. Now go to the scriptures and search out God's answer to the problems of His servants. There is little similarity.

Keith B

commented on May 17, 2012

Have you ever listened to him preach? Do you know what his church teaches? Have you seen his ministry philosophy? He's a punk pretending to be a pastor. We should not be looking to him for advice.

Keith B

commented on May 17, 2012

Weird.....I did not post that last comment but it was done with my initials

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