My pastor always preaches to everyone.
My pastor always starts his sermons with a real-life scenario. Depending on the passage, these can be funny, silly, happy, or somber, but they are always something that everyone can relate to. Throughout his sermon, he uses examples and analogies that resonate with each different member of the congregation, whether they are men, women, married, single, old, or young. He is conscious about who is in his audience and always preaches to each one, despite the diversity. Whether male or female, old or young, he makes a conscious effort to relate to each one. He avoids stereotypes and never favors one type of person over another. I find this invaluable, and it helps me trust that my pastor truly cares about preaching to me.
My pastor never makes me feel rejected from church because of my sin.
My pastor faithfully tells his church the law so that we see and understand our sin and Gods holiness. However, my pastor never leaves us with the law, nor does he preach, just try harder. He always faithfully proclaims forgiveness in Christ for all who believe. He never leaves the congregation feeling condemned, but preaches the forgiveness and grace God offers in Christ and the sanctifying strength of the Holy Spirit. He never shames particular sins as worse than others. He doesn't say particular sins will cause me to be rejected by the church; he calls everyone to recognize their sinfulness in Adam and their forgiveness and restoration in Christ (2 Tim. 2:24-25).
My pastor always preaches the gospel and Jesus Christ from every passage.
One of the things I love about sitting under my pastor's preaching is that I always learn something new or interesting about the Bible passage, but I also always hear the gospel. No matter where in the Bible my pastor is, whether its law or parables or prophecy, he always ends with what the passage teaches about Christ. He knows that preaching isnt about making people morally better, but it is about proclaiming the good news of forgiveness of sins. He takes seriously what Christ told his disciples on the road to Emmaus, that all scripture speaks about Christ (Lk. 24:13-35).
My pastor sincerely desires to serve his congregation in his preaching.
The way my pastor preaches, it is obvious that he truly cares about serving his congregation. He doesn't seek to build himself up but sincerely desires to build his flock up according to his duty as a shepherd (Eph. 4:11-16). Without straying away from Biblical preaching and teaching, my pastor takes the needs of his congregation seriously. He knows the best thing for them is faithful Biblical preaching; this tells me he is taking his job as a servant of Christ seriously. He makes the effort to know each member and their unique experience and perspective (1 Cor. 13:1-3). In this, he is an example of humility in his shepherding of the flock.
My pastor doesn't preach his personal opinions or biases.
My pastor's focus is letting the text do the talking. He is careful to be faithful to what scripture teaches, following Paul's exhortation to Titus to teach sound doctrine (Tit. 1:9; 2:1). I know I can go to him outside of the worship service and ask him anything, and hell gladly answer my questions and give me advice. However, when I go to sit under his teaching, I want to learn from him as an expert in understanding the Bible and what it teaches me about myself and God and coming to love God and neighbor more and more. Its not his personal opinions, but his application of God's Word that is most helpful. This is also an example of humility. It keeps the gospel, not himself, as the focus of his preaching.
All these things are invaluable to me. His attention to detail and knowledge of his congregation tells me that he truly cares about the people God has given him to serve. I love that every time I go to church, I know that my pastor cares about me as a woman, as a sinner, as a member of his flock, under his care and in need of God's forgiveness and grace.