Meaning To Do Them Good

In less than 24 hours I’ll be preaching to and with my new church family. There will be a dozen people in our worship center who’ve heard me preach more than 200 sermons in person. These dear friends from Legacy know me. They love me and they know my deep love for them. But the overwhelming majority of the listeners tomorrow will be hearing me for the very first time.

And they need to know that I love our Lord. And I love them.

John Newton wrote that his congregation would take almost anything from him, however painful, because they knew “I mean to do them good.”

That is the litmus test for my preaching ministry. That’s my centering point for everything I do. Intending to always do them good means my sermon preparation is a more sacred endeavor than just satisfying my own personal love of study. It means my preaching will have characteristics that are maybe difficult to define but still sensed by my hearers that reflect what Paul meant when he talked about preaching and pastoring:

“We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” ~2 Corinthians 4:5

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” ~1 Thessalonians 2:8

“I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.” ~2 Corinthians 12:15

I have been receiving more phone calls and emails and text messages since yesterday from our brand new friends here at Central wishing me well, showering me with love and encouragement, and expressing their excitement. I received a voice mail this morning from a dear sister here who said, among other things, “We already love you and your family; you can’t do a single thing to make us love you more.”

They need to know I love them, too. God help me; I mean to do them good.




  1. Laura Fox

    Allan – I’m excited to be at church to hear your first sermon at Central. I haven’t been there since I had surgery on August 24th. You have so many people praying for you and for this church – there is no way you will do anything but preach His Word that Central needs to hear!
    Looking forward to it! – Laura

  2. jason reeves

    Blow it up!

  3. Andrea Brightwell

    It was great to hear you preach today and to see the little blue truck with the Legacy empty tomb sticker in the parking lot! I knew I was going to hear a word or two from my good friend today and meet your new brothers and sisters. Sad and angry – and a mixture of feelings I’ve had since yall’s departure. It did me good and it feels peaceful to know how loved and cared for your family has already become at Central. We are in good Hands!

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