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Preaching Without Results

You will preach without results when your motive is only to increase your own popularity.

Avoid preaching doctrines that offend the carnal mind.
They could say to you as they did to Christ, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?"

Do not disturb the consciences of your hearers, lest they become alarmed about their souls.

Avoid all illustrations, repetitions, and emphatic sentences that may enable your people
to remember what you said.

Avoid all enthusiasm and earnestness in your delivery.
You might leave the impression that you really believe what you say.

Address the emotions of your hearers.
Do not disturb their consciences.

Be sure not to testify how the power of the gospel impacted your own experiences.
You might convince your hearers that you have something which they need.

Do not awaken uncomfortable memories by reminding your listeners of their past sins.
Denounce sin in general, but do not speak about the specific sins of your hearers.

Do not give the impression that God commands your listeners to obey the truth in their daily lives.
Do not lead them to think that God expects them to commit themselves right now to give their hearts to God.

Leave the impression that they should just go away -- still in their sins, and they can consider the matter
at their convenience.

Dwell much upon their inability to obey, and leave the impression that they must wait for God to change
their natures.

Preach salvation by grace, but ignore the condemned and lost condition of the sinner.
He should understand what you mean by grace, and feel his need of it.

Preach the Gospel as a remedy, but ignore the fatal disease of the sinner.

Do not speak of the spirituality of God's holy law -- by which comes the knowledge of sin.
The sinner should see his own lost condition and flee from the wrath to come.

Make no appeals to the fears of sinners.
Leave the impression that they have no reason to fear.

Preach Christ as an infinite good-natured being, but ignore those scathing rebukes of sinners and hypocrites
which so often made his hearers tremble.

Admit, either obviously or casually, that all men have some moral goodness in them;
lest sinners should understand that they need a radical change of heart, from sin to holiness.

Say so little of hell so that your hearers will think that you do not believe in its existence yourself.

Make the impression that, if God is as good as you are, He could not send anyone to hell.

Make no disagreeable references to the teachings of self-denial, cross-bearing, and crucifixion to the world,
lest you should convict and convert some of your church members.

Do not rebuke the worldly tendencies of the church, lest you should hurt their feelings,
and finally convert some of them.

Make it your purpose to be personally popular with all classes of your hearers.

Strive to make your hearers pleased with themselves and pleased with you, and be careful especially
not to wound the feelings of anyone.

Avoid preaching to those who are present.
Preach about sinners, but not to them.
Say "they," and not "you," lest anyone should take your subject personally,
and apply it to their own life, and come to know Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Adapted from the writings of Charles G. Finney