Do you love the people in the pew?

Do you even care about them?

They know whether you do or not.

They may shout at your whoop. They may wait around after service to “shake pastor’s hand” at the door.

But they know whether you really care.

You show you care by how you act when grandma dies. Your very presence says something. In a time when many either send surrogates or only show up to the bedside of “well connected” members, you show by being there.

You show by noticing when they have been gone.

You show by that call with a word of hope.

Yep and you show it by your sermons.

What are you talking bout Cox?

Well, I’m saying that when you love the people even your correction is flavored and seasoned with love.

I’m saying when you love the people, your sermon goes to a deeper level.

When you love the people you ain’t trying to change the people…you are letting Jesus change the people through you.

Did you get that?

I ain’t saying change don’t happen. As preachers we have seen change happen in individuals and congregations.

But what is the key?

Yes…you must rebuke at times…But always…


Make sure that it is Jesus doing the rebuking and not you…

We often like to talk about “Love the sinner, but hate the sin…”

But in many cases people look at us and see “Hate the sinner…”

Sometimes it is unfounded…sadly…sometimes it is totally true…

Jesus said that they will know the disciples of Christ by their Love. (John 13:35)

You can’t be an effective messenger of Christ without love. You can’t be an effective disciple…without love.

Do you Love the people? I say it again…

They know…

Till tomorrow, keep on preaching!!

Sherman Cox

My homiletic method can be found at