Quote: Real Passion

When I practice my sermons, I sometimes pull up a chair right in front of me.

I picture the 15 year old kid whose parents are divorced and who wants to kill himself everyday and hates everyone at school.

I picture the single mom who lost custody of her children because she can’t hold down a job in this economy and drinks herself to sleep every night.

I picture the hard-hearted religious hypocrite who sings loudly every Sunday at his church but goes home to beat his kids.

I think of my future wife, my future children, I think of the historical figures in the Bible sitting there hearing my preaching.

I’m not about to yell in someone’s face who has real issues that need real help.

It’s great to sound passionate. But what does real passion sound like?

It sounds like a man nailed to a cross whispering forgiveness over his own murderers. It sounds like a man raised to life calling for the disciple who betrayed him so he could reinstate him back to fruitful ministry. It sounds like Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, angry at a temple for turning God’s house into a consumer’s playground, raising a young girl to life with the words, “It’s time to wake up now, honey.”

I’m fine with loud preaching, but what are we loud about?

— J.S.

5 thoughts on “Quote: Real Passion

  1. I concur. Hushed tones and gentle words often speak more loudly and clearly than “loud” pontificating. I don’t do much yelling myself when I preach, probably mainly because I’ve never cared much for someone yelling at me. Either way, thanks for the post, it is important to keep in mind those who are hungering and thirsting for the good news of Christ.


    1. Thanks brother. I think there can be a place for yelling depending on who/how the speaker is. Some great yellers like Matt Chandler and James MacDonald seemed gifted this way, in that they can get away with it. But I think too many preachers try to emulate this bare-knuckle style, believing that aggression is the same thing as “boldness” or “passion.” It is not.


  2. Hi JS,
    I love the way you write. I loved this post. I don’t like it when a minister yells his sermons. It makes me feel like I have to face my [earthly] father again who used to scream at me all the time. Who used to scream at me about things I did that were wrong, and how horrible of a person I was. I would love to hear a sermon by you. Where do you do your sermonizing?


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