Ben Arment wrote, “No church has ever been scolded into vitality …I can’t think of a single church that made a turn-around with scoldings . It just doesn’t work.”
A church must be led with love. This does not mean that we do not speak the truth, but rather we must speak the truth with love. A church must understand that the pastor loves them and that the leaders genuinely care about them and the church. Too often, we pastors have used the pulpit to “whip people into shape”. However, God intends for us to share the Word of God for the growth of the people, rather than for what we want our intended outcome to be.
One of my mentors once told me, “When you are facing certain things in the church, do not preach at those situations, preach love.” He told me this after I preached about the sons of Korah and God swallowing up the nay-sayers:)
I have found that when we scold the congregation, we are generally directing our sermon to a hand full of people that need to “hear the message”, when it would be better to talk it out in private. As pastors, we must not punish the whole group for the actions of a few.
All that aside, we must preach what the Holy Spirit leads us to, even if it is a message that challenges others and disrupts the comfortable.