The Importance of Moving People

Great preachers and leaders know how to move people.

As soon as I say that I know that the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is emotional manipulation. After all, when unchurched people say they really liked your sermon they usually say that it really moved them. And in their minds they’re probably talking about pure emotion. Maybe intellectual curiosity.

But that’s not what I mean. Anyone can do that and it doesn’t guarantee any kind of positive growth in the lives of the people you’re preaching to and leading.

What I mean is the concept of moving people further along in their lives. Advancing them beyond their current level of development. Beyond their current walk with God.

I like that concept. That image. And it’s something that I think all pastors should strive after. Pastors have to know how to move people. And they have to know how to move them on two tracks – 1) individually and 2) corporately.

The words you speak should move people on a personal level. It should grip their hearts and make application to their lives personally. If you don’t move the individual and you’re only casting broad vision to the church as a whole, you’re only going to preach to the highest commitment level people and your church isn’t going to go very far.

For example, you can make the greatest pitch for the greatest capital campaign in church history. But if the individual people and families in your church aren’t moved to live lives of generosity, the thermometer on your stage is going nowhere.

You have to move the people to move the church.

But you also have to move the church as a whole in the right direction. You should always have a direction the church needs to move in corporately. A common goal that you want the collective efforts of the individual people in your church aimed at. If you don’t, the church won’t advance.

Going back to our example, it’s not enough just to move people to tithe. What you have to do is figure out where God wants to take your church. What it’s going to take financially to get there. And then cast a compelling vision that moves individual people to get on board to make it happen.

You have to move the church to move the people.

Good preachers and leaders are great at moving individuals.
Good preachers and leaders are great at moving churches.

Great preachers and leaders are great at both.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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