The Curse of Motivational Speaking

ReleaseYourPotencialSocial Media (at least the Kenyan context) has been abuzz for the past week with chatter about visiting world-renowned preacher and motivational speaker, Dr. Myles Munroe. Some conservative Christians have expressed outrage at the “exorbitant” ticket charges to attend the conferences (Kshs. 10,000 and Kshs. 50,000, which would be about USD 120 and USD 600 respectively). Others, I included, are more concerned about Dr. Munroe’s man-centered and unbiblical teachings, especially concerning Christ, the atonement, and prayer.

In one of the most fiery debates I witnessed on Facebook, one person was trying to defend Dr. Munroe by drawing a dichotomy between preaching and motivational speaking. The basic argument was that what Dr. Munroe is doing is not preaching, but motivational speaking, and thus he does not necessarily have to conform to the demands of biblical preaching.

Well, I was perusing my bookmarks archive and came across this post, written by Conrad Mbewe in 2012, in which he effectively illustrates the folly of motivational speaking and why it is a curse to the church of Jesus Christ. I thought it might shed the much needed light in this otherwise fiery debate.


“… Motivational speaking is an attempt at trying to kill a charging lion with a pea-gun, using freshly cooked peas, spiced with the most aromatic seasonings. The aroma may be tantalizing to the taste buds, but it is totally useless in bringing down that ferocious beast. Men and women outside Christ are DEAD in trespasses and sins. Exciting their senses with nice-sounding platitudes will not give them life. They need the law to kill their fallen egos and the gospel of Jesus Christ to give them life.

I know that motivational speaking is filling up our church buildings until they look like football stadiums. In this world of misery and gloom, we can all do with some encouragement. But is that all that we were called to do as preachers? What good is it if men feel inspired and motivated, and then go back home to live a life of sin and selfishness? Sadly this is the norm in so many evangelical churches. The churches are filled to capacity with people determined to drink sin like water the whole week… “
Please follow the link below to his blog for the rest of the post. I promise it will be worth your while. I implore you to prayerfully consider what he has to say.


For the fame of His name,


4 thoughts on “The Curse of Motivational Speaking

  1. Hi there, my take is that we ought not to castigate motivational speaking, especially when it has to do with building the Kingdom of God. Its a must that all men get saved by believing in Christ, that is the door to getting into the Kingdom.
    What about the thereafter? How do believers get to live the reality of “greater things shall ye do?” Why did Jesus speak so much about money and how to use it? Why did Paul get so much into Kingdom living, speaking about life in Christ, getting believers to look at themselves as sons of God, having faith for the saving of the soul and thereafter living a life worthy of the call which we have received. People need to be taught these things.
    The Bible is filled with the call to living as Kingdom citizens. After salvation of the soul, through believing in Christ, there is the process of living life in Christ, victoriously. Going back to God’s original design that we take dominion of the earth, and through Christ in us the Kingdom of God be established here on earth. I believe that process gets completed at the coming of our Jesus. That’s Bible. That is what speakers like Myles Monroe, Creflo and TD Jakes and the like have been speaking of to the best of my knowledge.
    Perhaps you may have beef with the ‘stardom’ that some of these speakers seem to have around them. Hey, as long as they are speaking of Christ ressurected and life in Him, we are on the same side. No need to castigate.

    1. Interesting observation David. I wonder what comes to mind when we read Scriptures like Romans 5:18, talking about reigning with Christ in this life; or Revelation 1:5,6 we being kings and priests to God; John 1:16 Of Jesus fulness have we all received, grace upon grace; Ephesians 2:5,6 Paul saying that God has raised us up with Christ and has seated us far above the heavens; or 1 John 4:17 where the Bible says that as Jesus is so are we in this world. [In response to the ‘man-centred, unbiblical teaching’]. I know this kind of thinking makes many uncomfortable, but David raises an interesting question, when then will “greater things shall ye do?” reality come to pass? Was it a statement of fact or were those words shrouded in metaphor and linguistic symbolism? I am no Bible scholar but most the scriptures I’ve alluded to above are in the PAST PARTICIPLE tense. Think about it for a moment, concerning Peter’s ‘claims’ in 1 Pet 1:18 and 19, that we know that we were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold…but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. A simple argument for logic’s sake is, what did it cost God to redeem you and me? The blood, essentially life of Jesus Christ? Tell me, would God have paid something for nothing? Would I be blaspheming if I thus argued that your value as a born-again Christian is as important as Christ to God? Did not God’s original intention for man to rule and dominate over the earth? Wasn’t it Jesus’ primary occupation to restore man to that glory? Look at Jesus praying in 17: “and the glory which you have given Me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as We are One”. I think a good understanding on Jesus’ complete works, especially after He ascended to heaven and the consequences thereof to the New Testament church need to be re-examined. In principle, I agree with David and the likes of Myles Munroe to continue teaching the church who the truly are, in Christ Jesus. As a closing remark, I ponder upon Col 2:9,10. You see it pleased the Father that the fulness of the God-head might dwell in Christ Jesus bodily. We ARE complete in Him, the head of all principality and power.

  2. Couple of thoughts:
    1. The Scriptures never say that ‘we are building the kingdom of God.’
    2. Many many verses indicate that ‘the kingdom’ is future – not present in any real sense (there is some disagreement on this, but most would say the kingdom is not ‘here – now.’ It’s mostly if not entirely future.
    3. God is the only one who will build the kingdom and he’ll do it by force – read Revelation.It’s not inside anyone. It’s external and represented by the real reign of Christ on earth.
    4. The motivational speakers mentioned have expressed heretical thoughts repeatedly – that in itself totally disqualifies them as a spiritual leader who should be listened to.
    5. Can’t you see Jesus charging people to listen to him – or how about Paul? Yeah…no. If that isn’t greed showing itself, I don’t know what is. In addition, it’s showing partiality – something the Scriptures are very concerned about. Christians are called to preach the gospel to all creatures….not just the ‘rich.’

    (2Ti 3:2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, … having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
    6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
    7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

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