The Reflectionary – Invitation vs Manipulation in Preaching

by | Apr 19, 2023 | The Reflectionary

As a pastor for twenty-five years, I can testify that absolutely nothing was more meaningful to me than the outward indication that someone had made a significant inward, spiritual change. However you want to describe it – giving one’s life to Jesus, crossing the line of faith, getting saved, etc. – there is something powerful about witnessing a person’s response to the preached word by making an internal change, especially when it results in externally changed behaviors and patterns that align with the character of Christ.

All of this is good. It’s why we preach. We preach for change. We present the gospel so that people might embrace it, believe it, personally receive it, and begin to model their lives after the life of Jesus. I’m still convinced that there are

In fact, it’s because this burning passion burns so brightly that we must be all the more careful to cross the line between influence and manipulation. And if we’re honest, a lot of manipulation takes place in the name of influence.

I wrote an article about this topic and wanted to pass it along in this week’s Reflectionary along with some other resources you’ll find below.

Read: Preaching as an Invitation, Not Manipulation

And by all means, definitely keep inviting people into the goodness and grace of God as made available in the person and work of his Son, Jesus Christ!

Don’t forget to enjoy God’s presence today, Sunday, and beyond!

Keep on growing!



This Week’s Big Sermon Idea


What to Do with What God Has Done

A sermon idea based on Colossians 3:1-4 and assigned for the Third Sunday of Easter in the current Year A.

Everything is different about the world because of what God did in and through Jesus Christ. In the same way, everything about our lives should look different after we come to know him. We are forever different in light of the cross and the empty tomb.

Read and/or Share the Full Article »


Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass

My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:

Marriage and Relationship Sermon Series - The Space Between Us

From the Description:

This four-part series looks at the culprits behind relational strife and what Scripture says about them. Issues like jealousy, envy, pride, and unforgiveness put our spiritual health and our relationships at risk. They cause division and separation and keep us from living in true community with God and others.

Check Out This Sermon Series »


Links for Leaders

FEATURED – One of my favorite podcasts is Adam Young’s The Place We Find Ourselves, and in a recent episode Adam tackled a subject that has had me fired up before, too. It’s the twisting and misuse of Jeremiah 17:9 to convince people not to trust themselves. The problem is, when people have experienced trauma and abuse, telling them that they cannot trust themselves can be dangerous. It sets them up as prime candidates for spiritual abuse and, unfortunately, that’s a BIG issue for the church today to address.

Listen: When Bible Verses Are Used Against You (or, Is Your Heart Really Trustworthy?)

The issue Adam tackles is an echo of the book Rachel Held Evans published posthumously, Wholehearted Faith, which is a also a great book to read on the subject.

Wholehearted Faith
  • Evans, Rachel Held (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 10/11/2022 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

More links and resources:

If you have a resource relevant to pastors and church leaders that you’d like for me to include, feel free to message me. I can’t always promise inclusion but I’ll definitely take a look.


The Latest from Walk Humble

Walk Humble is where I host an ongoing conversation about life, faith, and relationships among people brave enough to admit they don’t have life all figured out yet.

When Your “God” Box Gets Smashed Again

Podcast Episode #004: Stop Trying to Fit In


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About the Cover Art: Photo by Marcos Luiz Photograph on Unsplash.


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