In a recent article at his website, Chuck Lawless shared some of the things he wishes he hadn’t said while preaching. Chuck writes:

“I preached for the first time when I was 16 years old. I’ve been in full-time ministry now for almost 35 years. When you preach that much, you say some unfortunate stuff. I’m glad that all of these listed here are from the early years of my ministry, but I’m sure I’m not immune to making the same mistakes in the future.” Here are five of his top 10:

“‘There are no gray areas in the Bible.’ At the time, everything was black and white for me. I took me a while to learn to deal with non-essential issues about which strong Christians might disagree.

“‘I’m convinced Jesus is coming back before I graduate from high school.’ I preached this message when I was a junior in high school in 1978. I was wrong.

“‘I don’t need to be married to understand marriage.’ I was a single pastor, and I wanted to convince my church that I could do marriage counseling. I still argue that a single can do that counseling, but I really didn’t understand marriage back then. Actually, I’m still learning…

“‘The Christian life is not a bunch of don’t dos. It’s a bunch of do dos.’ My attempt to move out of my legalism and stress positive obedience led to an embarrassing expression…

“‘I’m not going anywhere.’ It was easy to tell my church these words then, as I was genuinely convinced I never would leave them. I’d apparently forgotten that God makes that call.” (Read the rest of the list here.)

So, what have you said that you wish you’d never said?

Michael Duduit
Follow on Twitter @MichaelDuduit

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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