Sadly, I talk to far too many pastors who tell me their sermon topics have been selected by others. They don’t say this exactly in those words, but they talk about needing to prompt someone to do something differently, or of a parent who thinks the youth need some correction, or a board member who says the giving needs to be increased.
Sometimes it’s the opposite: pastors will say they won’t preach on a certain topic because it’s too sensitive, or it might make some people upset, or it might be offensive to some with an opposing viewpoint.
Whatever happened to preaching the Word as the Holy Spirit directs?
“A minister who watches for souls as one who expects to give account will have none to please but God. When he studies his sermons, this will not be the enquiry, ‘How shall I form my discourse so as to please and gratify the humors of men and get their applause?’ but ‘How shall I preach so as to do honor to God and meet with the approbation of my Judge?’” —Lemuel Haynes (emphasis added)