Ten Commandments of Passionate Preaching

Gabriel Ruhl

Posted On: 

January 28, 2021

Teachers with genuine passion can make the impossible happen—revitalize a dying Sunday school class, reach a hopeless soul, create a corporate desire to serve Christ—and the list can go on! Nothing great is ever accomplished without passion.

Your passion must come from what fuels you from the inside—your love for Christ. It’s more than having a plan; it’s about serving Christ with the same intensity He had when He went to the Cross. Allow me to shed some light on what you should be passionate about as a Bible teacher.

It’s normal—even expected—to get weary in the battle of service, but we shouldn’t get weary of the battle. When weariness creeps in, we need to go to the resting place in our souls, and that place needs to be the call of God—the certainty that He has placed us where we are. Paul said in Romans 11:13, “…I magnify mine office…” He had confidence in the work Christ had for him. Additionally, if we serve the Lord for any other reason than our love for Him, the quality and longevity of our service will suffer. Our service must be an outflow from our love.

The lives we live and the message we teach should not contradict but compliment each other. Our lives (lifestyle) should passionately revolve around all things God! Our culture tells us that we can do anything the world is doing as long as we love God. The meaning and purity of holiness begs to differ. Our lives should be distinct—peculiar. We should want to minister in the world but not be of it. A teacher with God’s values in mind will hold in high esteem his lifestyle and example outside of the classroom.

Our prayer should be, “God, you can strip from me any personal liberty you want, I just want more influence for your name’s sake.”

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs
of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be
a soldier.—2 Timothy 2:4

If you are not excited about teaching your Sunday school class, then do not be surprised if your students are not excited about being in your class. Blessed is the class whose teacher thinks this Sunday’s lesson is the best one he will ever teach!

On the other side, remember that you cannot impart what you do not possess. Therefore, preparation is key to providing a thought-provoking, Bible-based, helpful lesson.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth
forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil
treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of
the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.—Luke 6:45

Teachers who rely on past illustrations and stories have dull, deadening lessons; teachers who are alive in God’s Word, and consistently gleaning from it can’t help but have passion to convey the truths they are currently convinced of working!

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To
him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
—2 Peter 3:18

God created everything in life with the intention to grow. Not only should you be passionate about personal growth, but you should also want growth in your class. You don’t have to be naturally gifted at teaching for this to happen (Praise the Lord!). Your lesson is a small part of the big picture when it comes to leading and growing a class. Statistically, those who visit your class determine within the first seven minutes whether or not they will be returning. This generally happens before the teaching starts. It’s not about natural giftedness; it’s about a passionate desire to grow those we are teaching. Passionate teachers utilize every minute of their classroom time to provide a friendly, encouraging, and equipping experience.

D. L. Moody said, “I’d rather be able to pray than to be a great preacher. Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, but only how to pray!” Pray for yourself to be the teacher God wants you to be, and pray for those in your class by name.

The more you invest in your class as individuals, the more your heart will be passionate about your ministry. You can invest by caring about what they care about. Share with them in the joy of a newborn baby and mourn with them through the death of a loved one. When my kids’ Sunday school teachers send them a birthday card, I can tell you from a parent’s perspective that it goes a long way!

Choose to prioritize caring for your class. We have a system in our ministry called the weekly snapshot—it’s a quick overview of who has attended and who has missed each class.

Every visitor receives a visit from a teacher or class leader within six days. When people miss three weeks in a row, we visit them. Usually when people miss this much, their minds start to shift and think that no one at church really cares, and we want to prove them wrong.

Make a big deal of absentees. Make a personal connection, and don’t allow people to fall through the cracks due to lack of caring.

Soulwinning is not a spiritual gift. Soulwinning is a spiritual discipline. It is something we inwardly choose to be obedient to, because of the cause of Christ. Soulwinning is stepping into the image of Christ. Luke 19:10 says it best, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

“The only alternative to soulwinning is
disobedience to God.”—Curtis Hutson

Is “good enough” good enough for you? In high school, I worked for a fencing company. Eventually, I became a site leader. Occasionally, I would get a certain guy on my team who taught me a very valuable lesson. This guy’s mentality was, “Well, you can’t see it from my house…so it’s good enough.” In other words, the job wasn’t going the way we planned, but the customer won’t notice, so it’s good enough. Lesson learned. I wouldn’t want this guy (his mentality) working on my house!

Sometimes in the work of the Lord, we have the same “you can’t see it from my house” mentality—it wouldn’t be good enough for us, but we’re doing this in our spare time for the Lord, so it’s good enough. However, something great for God will never be done with spare work or spare change.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.—Ecclesiastes 9:10

Embrace and engage in all the opportunities you have today. Satan never takes a day off, and he is always working overtime. Don’t save up all your passion for the weekends; choose to be passionate today about your class, and allow that passion to play out practically.

For yourselves know perfectly that the
day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the
night.—1 Thessalonians 5:2

What kind of legacy are you leaving to the next generation? Are you showing them how to lead with love and passion? Live as if you want the dash on your tombstone to mean something.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put
his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for
the kingdom of God.— Luke 9:62

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