In 1956 pastoral counselor Edgar Jackson wrote a little volume called How To Preach To People’s Needs.
Through his research he had discovered that members of the average congregation — those sitting in the pews — were facing the following issues:
• 20% struggle with an acute sense of loss.
• 33% have serious marital problems.
• 50% are having trouble adjusting to major life-change.
• 10% are dealing with depression.
• 20% are overcome with guilt or fear.
Sixty-two years later, do you think those numbers are higher, or lower?
Let’s not forget, as we stand before our listeners, that there is unspoken pain in the room. Don’t hold back, then — not in your planning, or your preparation, or your delivery. Only the boldest message of hope can break through the darkness in their lives.
So let’s preach hope. Powerful, Biblical, grace-based hope. In every message.