From the Pastor’s Heart
Recently I read an article in Christianity Today by Mark Galli that prompted me to think about how the church is doing in communicating the Good News.
Mark wrote there's a reason Jesus said "You shall be my witnesses," and not "You shall be my marketers." It’s obvious that in our country marketing is epidemic. Sadly, it has become a prominent means of “promoting” the church and the gospel. Catchy billboards along highways, snappy soundbites on the airwaves, and hackneyed slogans of televangelists trivialize the life-transforming Christian faith.
It should not surprise us that in this church-marketing era, people demand more and more from their churches, and if churches fail to deliver, they take their spiritual business elsewhere. Consumers seeking spiritual goods and services shop around for what they want – so church transience naturally results.
In his article, Mark wrote that pastors today tend to think of themselves as "managers," "leaders" and "CEOs" of "dynamic and growing congregations," rather than as shepherds, teachers and servants of people who need to know God. He pointed out that preaching has become less an exposition of the gospel of Jesus' death and resurrection and more often practical lessons that offer a lot of "take-away value … presented in an efficient, friendly manner, as if we were selling cheeseburgers, fries and a shake.”
We are challenged to “live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ … who loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us” (Ephesians 5:2 NLT). The love of God is a sacrificial, self-giving love directly opposite to the self-centered way of life so prevalent in our nation. Heaven help us take this responsibility seriously by persevering in sharing the gospel with all who will listen, and inviting them to join us in following Christ.
We are not responsible for results, but we are responsible for preaching the story of Jesus and his love from the pulpit of our daily lives. By grace, let us resolve to share our Savior’s love to the end of the earth and follow our Master’s call to the end of our lives—communicating the Good News faithfully, honestly, and compassionately. Nothing is more important.
Pastor Johnny R. Almond
Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church
Friends on a Journey of Faith