Ever been mad because you're convinced they planned that message just for you, to correct you, or point out the error of your ways?
Ever thought, "I just knoooow he/she's talking about ME?"
Well, one person in my church KNEW for sure that was the case last week. Why? Because Saturday night I called them and said, "Hey, I'm going to be teaching a message in my class on Sunday straight to you tomorrow, about you, so make sure you come out and hear it!"
No kidding. I really did that!
I figured, why beat around the bush? If you're going to preach something about somebody, just tell them beforehand so they can be sure not to miss it since you are strategically talking about it for their benefit. God forbid they miss it. (GRIN)
I was genuinely trying to help this woman -- and had her on my heart. My intent was never to make her uncomfortable or upset. And honestly, others pastors I know don't strive to do that either. They are just trying to lead people into the fullness of God and they pray about their messages and preach them and they are not directing missles toward the congregants all the time as some may be led to think. The thing is, if you have circumstances in your life that your pastor knows one iota about, you are probably led to think they are talking about you from time to time because practically anything could be twisted for you to think that. But the fact is, they aren't doing that, I assure you. They are simply trying to hear from God and preach what He tells them, in the vast majority of cases.
But last Sunday, I had a certain lady on my heart. As I was preparing my teaching message for my adult sanctuary class, I thought, "this applies perfectly to her. It's where she's at. It's what she needs to hear." I knew it would the others too, but I knew for her.......this was a strategic message for such a time as this. And I didn't want her to miss it. So I called her up and said, "come to church tomorrow...I'm teaching about you!"
I know this is an unorthodox method of pastoring, but hey, I am not exactly your traditional pastor.
The person did come and in fact they were there on time!
After service she came up to me with tears streaming down her face and said, "you're right, I needed to hear that..." and we had a heart to heart talk.
I know God is working in her and I'm so proud of her.
Let this be a notice to anyone I pastor or who hears me preach on a regular basis...I honestly don't preach anything directed at you. But if I ever do, I'll call you up and let you know the night before so you can be sure not to miss it, ok? (SMILE)