Cheon Seong Gyeong: Episode 289
Cheon Seong Gyeong Book 9: Home Church and the Tribal Messiah
Chapter 3: The Mission of a Church Leader
Section 4: Giving Sermons that Move Hearts, 13-20
(13) When you endure sorrow, you will surely be rewarded. During the course of paying indemnity on earth, if you shed tears of sorrow while truly being in the position of goodness, you will eventually shed tears of joy. On a scale of one to ten, if you experience sorrow at the level of ten, the happiness that will eventually come to you will surpass that scale, to the level of one thousand. Because we have such experiences in our life, we can continue our life of faith. If after you endured sorrow to the level of ten you received joy only at the level of one, it would dissipate within a few days. But in following the path of Heaven, if you truly persevere through sorrow, true happiness beyond your imagination is bound to come. If you do not have a chance to feel it or receive it, such joy will come to your wife, your children, or your ancestors. So do not do anything thoughtlessly. Live your life with the attitude of attending God at all times. Always consult with Him. When you feel frustrated, sit down and pray. Sleeping should not be the issue; working should not be the issue. Praying must become your way of life.
A sermon reflecting your devotion
(14) If possible, I try not to write out my speeches. I normally speak without a script. If you speak from a script, Heaven may not be able to work fully. Hence, even if you write a script, you should not memorize what you write. You should not recite it line by line. Only by speaking from your heart can you enter the realm of resonance with God. Then your mind and body can unite in the atmosphere of God's grace, in an environment where Heaven can relate to you. In such a state, you cannot have your own opinions. Sometimes I stand in the position of an object partner and sometimes in the position of a subject partner. If I stand as a subject when I should be in the object position, I ruin the atmosphere. That is why I need to pray. When I appear at the podium with a heart of tears, I immediately know how to reach those at all levels, and what to talk about that day.
(15) After you have given a sermon, you should struggle with an unbearable feeling of shame. That is how you can develop. If you stand at the pulpit and give the same habitual sermons you have given for ten to twenty years, you will run dry. Do not just speak your own words. For ten to twenty years you may have based your sermons on your notebook, but you cannot generate life from that. That is why I tell you, do not speak your own words but always cultivate new words, the Word of Heaven. Even if it includes content that others already know, you should always speak the Word of Heaven. That is why you should forget about the script. Exercising this kind of spirituality is crucial. So when I get an inspiration at midnight, or even at 3 o'clock or 4 o'clock in the morning, how can I sleep? My sleepiness dissipates instantly. Resonance, or stimulation from the spirit world, transcends sleep. It goes far beyond the world of sleep.
(16) When Unification Church leaders give sermons, you need to be motivated to invest all your heart and body. You have to move and inspire heaven and earth, audiences who are beyond the past, present, and future. If you lose that motivation, you will end up just following current trends. You will become more and more secularized. Therefore, you should speak representing Heaven. Further, do not conduct research in books for your Sunday sermon. Rather, select the title through deep prayer. When you pray to find the title, you should be moved as if you have regained new life. In such a state, you should feel a sense of urgency, as if you are about to make a decisive proclamation that will determine the future of the nation, whether it rises or falls into ruin. In other words, you must speak as if you are making your final proclamation at the execution ground. Speak as if it will determine success or failure. It is the same with prayer. Have the seriousness of a criminal who is going to the gallows. When singing a hymn, although everyone knows the lyrics and the melody as well as you do, to move the hearts of people you should thoroughly understand what the hymn means. Then sing to convey its deep content. Resonate like an echo! Sing with an expansive and resounding voice that touches people's hearts and changes their attitudes. You have to sing hymns like that in order to move the public.
(17) When giving a sermon or a lecture, you need to present something new. You have to stimulate your audience. Through prayer, you need to supplement what is lacking, even placing your life on the line to close the gap. Even when you are just walking along, have a mind to seek for something new. For instance, do not just go to the church, but have a heart to learn something new, to make a new atmosphere. Do not always take the direct route to church; try going a roundabout way. Although you may need to head south, try a route to the north. Why? It is to find a new path. If you are not too excited about doing that, try rearranging the furniture in your home. After many months have passed, do not just leave things as they are; try to move things around. Then new ideas will come to you. We definitely need to do things like that. Vary your prayers as well. Depending on where you pray, whether in front of the pulpit or way in the back of the church, the feeling is totally different. The feeling is also different when you pray in the midst of the congregation. Therefore, seek to make changes in the environment.
(18) When giving a sermon, if you repeat the same one, the members will take notice and feel upset. Likewise, when you give lectures on the Divine Principle, people will be annoyed if you always lecture in the same old way. It is because people feel the changes of the four seasons—spring, summer, autumn, and winter—depending on the season you are in. People are not always in a good mood just because it is morning. Even if they do not have any worries, there are days when they are unusually depressed. In spite of the bright sunlight and crisp weather, there are times when you yourself may feel depressed. At those times, how can you uplift your spirit? If you do not find anything stimulating to change it, you might descend to a state of even greater despair. Therefore, you have to either stimulate yourself from an opposite direction or find something stimulating and overcome your depression. You need to find ways to be in control of your life every day. Otherwise, in the future, you will not be able to guide the numerous souls that are lost.
(19) We human beings were created through the Word, flesh, and spirit. Hence, we should first align with the Word, next cultivate our character, and then do spiritual work. That is the correct order. If we put spiritual work first, we would have to pay great indemnity because the first stages were skipped. You should be moved by your own sermon. You need to be moved by your own prayer. You should give the sermon in a state where you receive God’s mercy and grace. You can enter a state of grace by appealing to God about the pitiful situations of the people, who have to connect through someone like you to receive life and grace. To arrive at such a state of grace you must repent and, through suffering, seek the path of Heaven. In walking that path, you should not have any enemies.
(20) In giving a sermon, do not give your devotion to everyone at the same time. Do not think that you have the public in front of you and are delivering the sermon to them. Rather, think that you are giving the sermon to one person. If that one person receives grace and sheds tears, that grace will spread to the whole. Your church could not develop until now because you have been giving sermons that floated in the air, with no roots. Since there is no base to absorb your sermons, there is no way for witnessing to be successful. To gain a foothold, a church leader should cultivate his personal foundation. When I give you a certain direction, the members will move only if the church leader sets the example by moving, even at the risk of his or her life.