Often times when I am writing Christmas Sermon Outlines I find I get pen and pulpit courage. I will write and say some powerful and challenging things at my desk and from the stage. We all have this. It is easy to fall into because people usually respect us and the role we play. We also can get caught up in the moment of writing and speaking as we let God move.
Now I do not believe this is a bad thing. In fact I think this is a great thing. I love walking away from a sermon knowing that I spoke exactly what God wanted me to speak. I love teaching and know that I challenged people to raise the bar in their lives. The Musica Evangelica problem comes when we teach through those powerful Christmas Sermon Outlines, or any lesson for that matter, and are not willing to raise the bar ourselves. We are not willing to live up to the challenges that we laid out for others.
Granted, we are not perfect people. We will make mistakes and miss opportunities. But if we want our teaching and preaching to be effective we must live a life of integrity. We must practice what we preach. Now I am not saying back down from teaching hard lessons. All I am saying is that as you write consider whether or not you are prepared to make the changes you are calling others to make. You may also, with in reason, want to be transparent about the times that you struggle and fail. Use your judgment in this.
So if you are going to teach a message about family, make sure you are taking time for your family. If you teach a lesson about reaching out to the poor and not just buying things for yourself this Christmas season, then make sure you are cutting back and taking time to reach out to those in need. Because when your life matches up with words, your teaching and preaching will carry more power and your church will be changed.