You Have to Move People to Reach People

Steven Furtick discusses the art of moving people in ministry.

Great preachers and leaders know how to move people.

As soon as I say that I know that, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is emotional manipulation. After all, when unchurched people say they really liked your sermon they usually say that it really moved them. And in their minds, they’re probably talking about pure emotion. Maybe intellectual curiosity.

But that’s not what I mean. Anyone can do that, and it doesn’t guarantee any kind of positive growth in the lives of the people you’re preaching to and leading.

What I mean is the concept of moving people further along in their lives. Advancing them beyond their current level of development. Beyond their current walk with God.

I like that concept. That image. And it’s something that I think all pastors should strive after. Pastors have to know how to move people. And they have to know how to move them on two tracks – 1) individually and 2) corporately.

The words you speak should move people on a personal level.

It should grip their hearts and make application to their lives personally. If you don’t move the individual and you’re only casting broad vision to the church as a whole, you’re only going to preach to the highest commitment level people, and your church isn’t going to go very far.

For example, you can make the greatest pitch for the greatest capital campaign in church history. But if the individual people and families in your church aren’t moved to live lives of generosity, the thermometer on your stage is going nowhere.

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You have to move the people to move the church.

But you also have to move the church as a whole in the right direction. You should always have a direction the church needs to move in corporately. A common goal that you want the collective efforts of the individual people in your church aimed at. If you don’t, the church won’t advance.

Going back to our example, it’s not enough just to move people to tithe. What you have to do is figure out where God wants to take your church. What it’s going to take financially to get there. And then cast a compelling vision that moves individual people to get on board to make it happen.

You have to move the church to move the people.

Good preachers and leaders are great at moving individuals.
Good preachers and leaders are great at moving churches.

Great preachers and leaders are great at both.

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Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church. In just under seven years, Elevation Church grew to more than 12,000 people in weekly attendance, meeting at seven locations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Elevation has been named one of the fastest growing Churches in America by Outreach Magazine for each of the past six years.

Pastor Steven has been privileged to minister to a global audience, speaking at conferences and churches around the world, including Catalyst Conference, Hillsong Conference, and the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. He is the author of the best selling book “Sun Stand Still” and the New York Times Best-Selling follow-up, “Greater.” Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.