The Congregation's Responses

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Positive Responses

  • There will be people who respond positively by giving you compliments. Ensure that these compliments do not feed into pride! It is imperative that you stay humble. Remember, God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud. God may give you grace for a time, but may bring you down if you let pride come in.

  • Give God the glory when people praise you for your sermons. How do you do this? Well, when someone praises you, you deflect that praise to God in your heart. You need not do this openly (typically saying "Praise God") in front of the person complementing you as it can come across in the wrong way, for example:

      • It can make the person complementing you feel guilty that he should have perhaps complimented God instead of you (but you have been used by God, so it is only natural to say something to you in the first instance).

      • It can make you come across too Christianised, in your attempt to show humility outwardly (which in itself is pride).

It is thus better to receive all the compliments with a simple "Thank You" (as if to collect them in a basket), then later when you are on your own, pray to God, thank Him for anointing you and speaking through you, and bring that collection of compliments to Him. Give Him all glory and honour.

Negative Responses

    • There will be people that will be envious of you and your sermons. This is usually a good sign that your sermons are powerful and anointed, otherwise they wouldn't care at all. Beware of these types of people (these are the people that Satan will use against you to accuse you of evil things), but do not be afraid of them!

        • Firstly, remember that this happened to Jesus. He was accused of blasphemy by the Pharisees and Sadducees (supposedly godly people too!).

        • Secondly this is the Lord's battle; He will take care of this for you - just ensure you do not stoop down to their level and take matters into your own hands.

        • Thirdly, a word of comfort from Jesus himself:

Matthew 5:11-12

11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Keeping a Good Attitude

Not every heart will respond, and not all hearts respond in the same way. So do not be offended by those who seem to be indifferent about your sermons. Research has shown that approximately 10% of people will not like you anyway (and that's true in life, never mind sermons).

Do not be obsessed with the quantity of responses. If there was only ONE person that was touched by your sermon, it would still have been worth preaching it! Remember Jesus would still have died on the cross to save one man.

© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.