The entire world, every single country, and person is focused on one thing right now. No one has ever lived through a time like this, ever. You have a unique opportunity to have an impact like you’ve never had before.
Right now, everyone is looking for answers. People are frightened, anxious, panicky and losing hope. You know the answer to all of these problems. You already have a platform to speak into this crisis. Do. not. waste. this. opportunity!
I realize that there are some preachers who think that we need to only preach about the coronavirus and there are others who think we should keep preaching what we started a few weeks ago and downplay its impact. No matter what your opinion is regarding the coronavirus, it is impacting every single person in your congregation. It’s time to take this to heart and minister the gospel to your people.
So, how does this affect your preaching ministry?
First, do not dismiss the crisis. It is here to stay for at least a few months and its impact will last for years. People are struggling right now and trying to wrap their minds around what is happening.
– People are out of work
– Virtually all non-essential businesses have closed
– No one can go to a restaurant and sit down and eat with their family and friends
– Every sporting event has been canceled. No March Madness, NBA, MLB or ANYTHING
– Almost everyone is working from home
– Schools and colleges have closed for the rest of the academic year
– Proms, graduations, weddings have all been canceled or postponed indefinitely
– Funerals have been limited to no more than 10 attendees
– Retirement funds have been obliterated
– Your church has shut its doors and you are trying to reach out virtually to people
This is only the tip of the iceberg. And with all of this comes even more distress.
– People are scared that they will get sick and die
– People are anxious about paying bills
– People are depressed about not being with loved ones, family and friends
– People are getting angry and impatient inside their homes
– People are losing hope
– People are wondering why God would allow something like this to happen
You need to take all of this into consideration when preparing your next message. This crisis is real, it is actually happening and people are looking to you for help.
Secondly, don’t allow this crisis to take your focus off the gospel. It could be easy to allow this crisis to distract us from our primary mission which is to communicate the gospel to those God has entrusted to us.
Remember, the gospel is not a presentation. The gospel is the power of God revealed through Jesus Christ and his life, death, resurrection, and reign. The gospel speaks into every situation I mentioned above. The gospel message is the only message that truly has the answers to all of life’s problems.
Your messages should be filled with truth, hope, encouragement, peace, and inspiration exactly because it is the gospel that reveals all of these in this crisis and every other situation anyone finds themselves in.
More than likely you were in the middle of a sermon series when this started. It may have been a book of the Bible or a topical series. I’m not saying you have to necessarily stop your series, although you may want to. I am saying that the coronavirus crisis presents you with no brainer applications to your sermons.
Whether you preach topically or expositorily, the gospel should always be a central focus in your sermons. If you haven’t figured this out yet then you need to learn. Here is a brief list of books that will help you:
– Bryan Chappel, Christ-Centered Preaching
– Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel
– J.D. Greer’s, Gospel
– Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture
I have developed an online course entitled Gospel-Centered Bible Study, where you can learn how the gospel is connected and central to every passage of the Bible.
The platform you have of preaching a sermon every week is such a privilege. You have developed deep relationships with your people, they trust you, they respect what you have to say. Your people want to know how you and your family are dealing with this crisis. Remember, this is not something that only a portion of the population is dealing with. This is a crisis that every person on the planet is dealing with.
Your people are waiting and willing to listen to what you have to say. So, let what you have to say be saturated with gospel-hope. Let your messages reveal what the Scriptures say about how God’s people are to live in such a time as this. May the gospel of Jesus be your strength and may it be the balm that your people hear during this time. Because we all know, it’s the gospel that changes everything.