You can overcome your fears when…
- Your sense of purpose (calling) is greater than your fears.
- Your passions are greater than your fears.
- Your faith is greater than your fears
“Let’s do something for the glory of God.”
What I think God was pressing on me: Perhaps I hide behind my methods and ecclesiology. Or I hide behind putting out some fires in the church that I don’t do other things God is calling me to do. I fear what others think. I fear lack of financial provisions. I fear just going up to people and gospelizing them if they are not-now Christians. I fear the timing would be off. But has God called me to LA? Has he called me to gospelize my neighbors at Shatto and this great city? Do I have a passion for his glory in the lives of these image bearers. Do I trust God will come through and save some? Do I trust the power of his gospel message, the active participation of his Holy Spirit, and the predestination to salvation of some of the people I talk to? God is calling me to be bold and active and step out in faith gospelizing not-now Christians in my community and family. Now is not the time to give excuses that cover my fears. It’s time to overcome my fears for the glory of YHWH’s great name.
Lessons to grow in preaching:
Preach with passion. Montoya preaches with passion. He’s strong on exhortation because he believes what he says and conveys that belief to his hearers.
Use illustrations. Tell stories that illustrate your point. Tell stories that shed light on the point. Tell stories frequently. Use a variety of life situations and sources to keep them from sounding the same. Montoya closed with a military one but he also had a personal one, a conversational one, biblical ones, and an opening one to get the people transitioning to hearing from him.
End on a sharp and pointed note. End with a climax. He had an illustration that he used to embody his final exhortation: ”Let’s do something for the glory of God.” This means I can’t procrastinate to end my sermon. I need to take time to craft a conclusion that will serve my church fam.
Always connect it to Jesus Christ. This is the main point of the Bible. I think Montoya missed it in this sermon. He also missed that the reason David was so courageous in overcoming fears in ways others more gifted did not is his anointing by the Holy Spirit. This hit me as Montoya asked why others plant and shepherd churches that are more fruitful than others who are more gifted and equipped. His answer was his 3 points, I think the more fundamental answer is the work of the Spirit in and through the pastor and in the congregation he pastors. But it’s a theme in Samuel because Saul had the Spirit then the Spirit was taken from him and given to David in the previous chapter. (Side note: in the new covenant, pastors are NOT the “Lord’s anointed” any more than any other Christian is)
Preach the main point of the passage in light of the main point of the book and Bible. This is tied to the previous point about preaching Christ. The book is about the kingship of David coming into being and this is connected to the previous storyline of the Bible and extends from 2 Samuel 7 to Jesus and then to the New Earth. Know the book and the whole Bible’s main point and make that connection at some point in every sermon you preach.
Address non-Christians. Montoya didn’t do this in this seminary context. I think he still should have, if for nothing else then to model it. I learned this from Tim Keller and saw it practiced weekly by Mark Dever. There are many reasons for this and Tim Keller had a bunch of them on a Covenant Seminary lecture that is no longer online.
Don’t preach so long. His message was 36 minutes! I think he should have added 4 or so minutes to preach the gospel and connect it to Jesus Christ, but that still puts it at 40. And he didn’t start working to the text until at least after 13 minutes. I need to learn to be more succinct.