If an apparently strong-willed pastor admits struggles from the pulpit, it becomes a powerful preaching moment.
Our church had just signed a contract for a $3 million building project. I panicked when those I banked on to help pay for it refused.
So I called up every elder and deacon and cajoled them to pledge toward the project. I recruited someone to paste a large picture of our church on a cardboard box and cut it up into bricks of $10,000 each. I also convinced the elders and deacons to stand in front of the church one Sunday and announce their 100 percent support for the project.
Then, as a climax to all my work, I preached a hard-sell message, a the-time-for-fun-and-games-is-over sermon.
We raised the money, all right, but I was criticized severely. I so deeply offended one person, he left the church.
As I look back, I realize how manipulative the sermon was. I practically said that if people didn't give, they would get the fever! At that moment, the church didn't need a ...1