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10 Signs Your Shadow Is Undermining Your Preaching

Posted on September 30th, 2015

The first inner life issue addressed in The Emotionally Healthy Leader is our need to face our shadow. Why? It is one of our greatest challenges. Our shadow undermines our ability to serve others and undermines the best of who we are. This is nowhere more true than in our preaching.

The following are ten signs your shadow is negatively impacting your preaching:

  1. You are overly concerned with people’s approval and affirmation after you preach.
  2. You exaggerate, spin, or tell half-truths from the pulpit for impact or to get laughs.
  3. You preach about things you don’t live.
  4. You spend an excessive amount of time focusing on being clever, smart, and finding great illustrations rather than taking time to allow the biblical text to transform you.
  5. You use the pulpit to inappropriately manipulate a particular response, failing to do the hard work of developing your speaking gifts.
  6. You use the pulpit to indirectly address conflicts and tensions.
  7. You think more about how you are doing rather than how the people are doing when you preach.
  8. You are unaware of how your own triggers and history cause you to avoid or to overemphasize certain biblical themes (e.g. money and giving, sex, marriage, gifts of the Spirit, forgiveness, spiritual warfare).
  9. You are often anxious or angry before you preach. (You fear failure or are frustrated/impatient with others.)
  10. You drop names of people you have met or of your accomplishments in your messages (in passing of course).

What might you add to this list?

To see more of Pete’s articles on how Emotionally Healthy Spirituality applies to preaching, check out his articles at here and here.

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