Cheon Seong Gyeong: Episode 290
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, 21-29
(21) Everything in the world can be material for your sermons. If you suffered many ordeals, you can explain in your sermon what you did in those days. Therefore, a church leader should have experienced many difficulties. He or she should have gone through a lot of life training. He or she needs to have experienced times as a poor laborer, a beggar, or a high official holding a position in the circles of authority. Then when you share your actual experiences in those circumstances, especially the trials you experienced while serving in a public position, people can feel them as very real.
(22) When giving a sermon or a lecture, rather than preparing for it by reading the Divine Principle many times, once you have reached a certain level of understanding of the Principle, you should be immersed in the Word. That is, you should experience how profound that teaching is and what an incredible course of sacrifice I had to go through to discover it. If you can really feel it, you are bound to shed tears. Once you enter the realm of God's deep heart of restoration, you will discover the root of unspeakable situations. Without realizing it, you will be pulled into a fog through which you may have to tumble and struggle alone. That is when you have to firmly secure your position as a subject partner representing God. From that point on, you can become a subject partner and God's work can begin. It does not happen without a foundation of cooperation from the spirit world. If you are unable to enter that state, you must pray. You have to offer devotion for that to happen.
(23) When lecturing, unless you know the Principle thoroughly, you cannot have the foundation of heart to influence your audience. To have that heart, pray ahead of time, "Father, today I will lecture on this title." Then, as you lecture with a prayerful heart, you need to feel the kind of heart that God would feel. Discuss with God as you lecture, saying, "Whom do You want to resurrect today through Your Word, as the object partner You need? If there is a person here whom You have long awaited to meet, I will do my utmost not to lose that person." If you think, "I'll just lecture as I have always done," you can convey the content but you cannot resurrect people. You can never revive them.
(24) When you stand at the pulpit in front of the public, your heart must feel as though you are going to an execution. It should be similar to the heart of a man who stands before the judge in a court of law, solemnly waiting for him to render his verdict. Therefore, when you stand at the pulpit, you are like a sacrificial offering, responsible for many peoples lives. If you speak well you can save their lives, but if you utter a wrong word you could kill them. To utter a wrong word is the same as a doctor who gives a wrong injection; it can take a life. Thus, standing at the pulpit is the most daunting position. Heaven is present in that position.
(25) When you lecture, do not think that you are just speaking the words of the Principle. You are telling my history and God’s history. It means that ultimately, you are speaking in order to inherit that history and become one with it. If you lecture the Principle ten times, you will become ten times deeper. More than saving others, you are meant to become closer to God’s history and my history. That is, if you lecture ten times, each of those ten times brings your heart that much closer to God and to me, and each of those ten times makes your heart that much deeper. The same goes for prayer: the more you pray, the more your heart will grow deep and wide. You will become higher by the same degree. The higher you become, the more you will develop your heart, and the more you will be given opportunities to grow in oneness of heart with God and with me. Conveying the Word and teaching church members gives you such an opportunity.
(26) I used to pray until I had calluses on my knees. I would pray for more than twelve hours a day. I would bring up issues and then pray to resolve them, as if in a showdown with God. I had these experiences so often that it became like a habit. As soon as I faced an issue, I would already know what the outcome would be. I could feel it. You should not give sermons by reading books. The spirit world, the original world, is not meant to be mobilized based on books. The basic principle is that the spirit world is governed by love. And restoration refers to the perfection of character based on love. We are moved, and our character is engrafted to Heavens side, when love occupies the central position. It does not happen by knowledge. Therefore, do not read books to find something to speak about. If you give a sermon that way, you cannot resurrect people.
(27) You need to struggle to decide on the title of your sermon. It is a serious fight. If you decide on the title by going over a book one week before giving the sermon, Heaven cannot work through you. That has nothing to do with you. That is why it will never work. Therefore, you should regard the process of selecting the title for your sermon as a life-or-death matter. When you stand at the pulpit, search among the audience for a person whom Heaven needs to separate from a life-or-death problem. You should know in advance who will come for this purpose. If you get it right, the spirit world will be open to you. I never select the title of my sermon days in advance. I usually decide on the sermon title less than ten minutes before coming out to begin the service. I should feel resurrected by the content of my sermon first. Only when I have that experience can I stand in a position of confidence. Thus, when I stand before the congregation, I will have secured my posture. Then I can begin to communicate with the congregation. I cannot do so with everyone at once. At first, I connect to one or two people. If one person can be moved by that connection, everything can be turned around; then It expands to everyone in the congregation.
Sermons that stir the heart
(28) If you want to move an audience of hundreds of thousands of people, do not write a script. As a spiritual leader, you need inspiration. That is why your tears must never cease. You should be able to speak from a deep heart, such that tears burst forth without you even realizing it. Never lose that heart. If you lose it, you cannot resurrect people. This is a serious matter. How serious have you been to save one life? Compare yourself to a doctor. When a surgeon goes to the operating table, a persons life is on the edge of his scalpel. You as a leader are responsible for many lives. You should recognize that you who are dealing with many people's lives are in a position far more serious than the doctor who is handling just one person's life. I am not saying this just casually. If you are not that sincere, you are nothing but a swindler.
(29) Do not expect to move the congregation through your sermon. Rather, it is you who should be moved first. You need to be inspired by the content you are delivering. You should think that you are giving a sermon to yourself. If you, as a person of high spirituality, are moved and inspired by your own sermon, then the congregation will go wild, receiving amazing grace and inspiration. Therefore, giving the sermon serves to cultivate you, not others. It is for your own growth, not for others. Therefore, you should quote my words as much as possible. Even more than praying, you need to read the books of my sermons. Read a sermon that inspires you once, twice, three times, and then speak focused on its key points. That would be better than studying for several weeks. The books of my sermons contain an enormous amount of material. My prayers, especially, have very profound content that you cannot access on your own.