I said yesterday that we pastors need to be convicting, but I believe we should not be condemning. So how do you manage that? Well, I think a significant aspect of it is using the word “we” instead of “you.”
The pastor I heard recently give several challenging messages stuck with “you.” “You are doing this wrong.” “You aren’t doing what you should.” “You need to stop doing that.” And he was right, but he came off as condemning instead of convicting.
If he had thrown in a “we” – “We aren’t doing what we should” – it would have come off so different. And even if he couldn’t honestly say “we” – maybe he doesn’t struggle with what he was talking about – he could have said, “Listen guys, I understand this is difficult. There are things I struggle with too. But that doesn’t make it acceptable to do those things. God has called us to a higher standard, and He deserves for us to live up to it….”
Just putting a little “we” in there makes all the difference.