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Great preachers and leaders know how to move people.

As soon as I say that I know that the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is emotional manipulation. After all, when unchurched people say they really liked your sermon they usually say that it really moved them. And in their minds they’re probably talking about pure emotion. Maybe intellectual curiosity.

But that’s not what I mean. Anyone can do that and it doesn’t guarantee any kind of positive growth in the lives of the people you’re preaching to and leading.

What I mean is the concept of moving people further along in their lives. Advancing them beyond their current level of development. Beyond their current walk with God.

I like that concept. That image. And it’s something that I think all pastors should strive after. Pastors have to know how to move people. And they have to know how to move them on two tracks: 1) individually and 2) corporately.

The words you speak should move people on a personal level. They should grip their hearts and make application to their lives personally. If you don’t move the individual and you’re only casting broad vision to the church as a whole, you’re only going to preach to the highest commitment level people and your church isn’t going to go very far.

For example, you can make the greatest pitch for the greatest capital campaign in church history. But if the individual people and families in your church aren’t moved to live lives of generosity, the thermometer on your stage is going nowhere.

You have to move the people to move the church.

But you also have to move the church as a whole in the right direction. You should always have a direction in which the church needs to move corporately. A common goal that you want the collective efforts of the individual people in your church aimed at. If you don’t, the church won’t advance.

Going back to our example, it’s not enough just to move people to tithe. What you have to do is figure out where God wants to take your church. What it’s going to take financially to get there. And then cast a compelling vision that moves individual people to get on board to make it happen.

You have to move the church to move the people.

Good preachers and leaders are great at moving individuals.
Good preachers and leaders are great at moving churches.

Great preachers and leaders are great at both.

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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John E Miller

commented on May 24, 2011

"Great preachers and leaders know how to move people". As we progress down this "sermon" the bottom line is finance. Looking at Mr Furtick's church website, one of the beliefs of his church is that Hell is eternal separation from God. Is this the scripturally accurate description of Hell? What is needed in this sinful world are preachers who tell sinners about a great Saviour. Do not aspire to be a "great preacher". Paul simply says to Timothy, "Do the work of an evangelist". It is Christ, and Christ alone, who must be exalted. What is needed in churches today are those who teach the truth of God's word exactly and thereby lead to Christ. We are saved to worship first, and that we must do in Spirit and Truth according to the words of Jesus. Finally, warn sinners to "flee from the wrath to come". Hell is far, far more than separation from God. Sinners are separated from God in their lives now but they are not yet in Hell.

Michael Morton

commented on May 25, 2011

It takes to move people. It's not going to happen in one sermon. If you want to move people in a certain direction it need to become a theme of your preaching. I want our church to be socially active - that is participate in local mission - so I've been preaching and talking about us being the hands and feet of Jesus. Two years later there is a great difference. Now I trying to move us to be more evangelistic. Now we need to be hands and feet and voice of Jesus. It's slowly working.

Matthew Seagle

commented on May 27, 2011

I understand that Hell is more than just seperation from God. I also understand what Mr. Furtick is saying in that, Being that the absolute best that God has called you to be (giving everything you've got to the Glory of God) you will be a great preacher. IF, God has called you to lead then he will make you a great leader. God does not make "junk" he makes the best. Please understand me, I am explosive, energetic and loud. I preach hell hot and Heaven sweet! I Believe that the ONLY way to Heaven is through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ my Savior. Truthfully I believe that Mr. Furtick believes the same. But, we all have different methods but, hopefully the same Message.

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