August 14, 2018
THE CALL TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS
When I was eight years old, my grandmother told me that she thought I was going to be a preacher when I grew up. I disagreed and insisted I was going to raise chickens with Papaw. Turns out, she was right. God called me to preach. But I do still love chicken. 🙂
The first time I felt the call to preach was when I was 19 years old. I was attending a Christian conference for college students and the speaker instructed anyone who felt God calling them to the ministry to stand up. I looked around to see who would stand up, when I suddenly realized that I was standing up! I seriously don’t remember telling my legs to stand. But there I was, standing with tears pouring down my face.
Flash forward 11 years. I was 30 years old, married with three kids, a mortgage and a good corporate job. And I still hadn’t answered the call to preach. I taught Sunday school, I sang in the choir, I served on church committees, I was a deacon… I was trying to serve without selling out completely. Yet, I knew that God wanted my all in all. I was afraid, but like Paul, I felt compelled. My misery grew so great (It’s miserable to run from God’s call. Just ask Jonah.) that I finally surrendered. I quit my job, went to seminary, and planted Wilson Community Church.
Like Paul, I can’t boast about this calling. Like Jonah, I tried my best to run from it. Yet now, thirty years later, I am so thankful. How terrible it would be if I didn’t preach the gospel.
What’s God calling you to do?
August 14, 2015
Being a gospel preacher or missionary is a faith venture. The call to ministry is answered with no salary guarantee. The apostle Paul had preached the gospel to the people of Corinth, yet never asked for payment. He worked night and day making tents, so he could offer the gospel freely. However, other preachers had come to Corinth claiming superior status and demanding payment. Apparently, these preachers disparaged Paul’s credibility as an apostle, so that he had to remind the Corinthians that he was the one who had first led them to faith. In America today, a very small minority of “preachers” profit from the gospel message giving a bad name to the office. However, the vast majority of true gospel preachers struggle as Paul did trying to survive on meager offerings, while at the same time trying to train up new believers to support the very ministry which led them to eternal life. Do you support those who preach the gospel?
August 15, 2014
Some have referred to this as the Pauline Principle, the strategy being to adapt methods to the hearer while maintaining the integrity of the message. When Paul was in Athens he used their monument to the “unknown god” to help illustrate the gospel to them. When talking to a Jewish audience he quoted the Mosaic Law. When speaking to the Greeks he quoted their Greek philosophers. Paul shared the gospel in the language and culture of his hearer, rather than expecting the hearer to adapt to his culture and language. The Gospel MESSAGE is never-changing and must be guarded. But Gospel METHODS should be flexible to reach this ever-changing world.
August 15, 2012
Like Paul, we preach an unchanging message to an ever-changing world. The message must stay anchored in God’s Word, but the methods may adapt to be culturally relevant. We desire to never add our traditions to the gospel, nor in an attempt to make it more palatable, subtract from its power. We will continually evaluate our methods to make sure everything we do is to spread the Good News!