Regardless of your church polity, my observation is that no one has as great an opportunity to influence the culture and values of a local church than the senior minister. That is why I’ve dedicated my life to standing with and strengthening them.

You who speak from the pulpit determine what your congregants talk about. To the degree that you choose your title, topic, or text when you preach, you inject that into the congregational conversation that takes place in the cars and livingrooms and kitchens of those who hear. Now, you don’t get to determine what they say about your topic, but you do get to decide what that topic is.

Think about it.

How consistently does your preaching provoke people to think?

Do your sermons unsettle the status quo?

To what degree do your messages undermine mediocrity wherever it influences your congregation?

Are you challenging your people to change?

If not, why not?

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage.” more at

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