There is no more important message a pastor has to share from the pulpit than the message of the gospel – Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. It is not an important message; it is the most important message. The gospel above all is what people need to hear.
That does not mean a pastor has to give an evangelistic message specifically directed to non-Christians in each and every service. The job of the church is to develop believers to do the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:12). Therefore, most sermons should be directed to believers.
However, there are three ways that a pastor can present the gospel on any given Sunday.
Look for natural ways to transition into the gospel
If a pastor were speaking from one of the epistles that God wrote through Paul the Apostle, here’s an example of something that would be appropriate to say: “This morning we are going to look at a paragraph that God used Paul the Apostle to write. At one point, he called himself the chief of all sinners because, before he came to Christ, he delighted in the persecution and death of Christians. Yet God, by His grace, brought Paul to Himself. If you’re here and wondering if you are too big a sinner for God to save the answer is ‘no’. Paul the Apostle even testified that God saved him as a ‘pattern’ of what He could do for anyone. You simply have to come to God as a sinner, recognize Christ died for you and rose again, and place your trust in Christ alone as your only way to heaven. If you have not done that, please let us talk with you before you leave.” A simple excerpt like this can be incorporated into any sermon. What a simple way to share the most important message possible!
Incorporate the gospel into the conclusion of a message
When a message is strictly directed toward believers, an opportunity for the gospel appears there as well.
As the message concludes, when heads are bowed and eyes are closed in prayer, a pastor can say to the people, “My message this morning had been to those of us who know the Lord. But maybe you’re here, and you don’t know for sure that you would go to heaven when you die. I have great news - God makes the gospel simple. When you come to God as a sinner, recognize Christ died for you and took the punishment for your sin and rose again, and then place your trust in Christ alone as your only way to heaven, you can konw you are saved. If you have not trusted Christ as your personal Savior, please do not leave before one of us has a chance to talk with you. Because you are never prepared to truly live until you are prepared to die.” A simple appendix like this can be the beginning of a powerful conversion story for someone in attendance.
Make the gospel a priority at outreach-focused events
Outreach-focused Sundays usually have a fun theme and are full of events to attract the community - but they are also prime opportunities to make the gospel a priority. Don't pass up this opportunity!
For example, on something like a “Friendship Sunday” - an event where members are encouraged to bring non-Christian guests - a pastor can give a message as though everyone in the audience is a non-Christian. It is important the pastor serves as an example by inviting others to join him that Sunday as well. Everything about the service should be organized and programmed with accommodation to the non-Christian in mind – the songs chosen, the Bibe verses on the screen for those who don’t have their Bibles, the way the offering is taken, and church announcements minimized. Friendship Sundays and similar events held throughout the course of the year can be very effective and remind everyone that the gospel above everything else is the message people need to receive from us as Christians.
The pulpit can be effectively used to communicate that the gospel above all is what people need to hear. It is the only message that can change a person’s eternal destiny. In one way or another, with careful thought as to how, it can be communicated any and every Sunday morning.