Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lessons from a wise old man that I originally thought was bitter, cynical, and just plain wrong (Part 2)

A former professor that I once dismissed as a bitter, cynical, and just plain wrong and angry old man actually turned into one of my favorite teachers.  What changed wasn’t him.  It was me. 

This has taught me a few things about ministry: one thing is that If they are “bored” maybe they aren’t doing missions

Soldiers may get bored during peace time.  But they certainly are not bored when they are on the front line of battle with bullets whizzing, rockets soaring, and bombs exploding around them. 

Christians may get bored reading their Bibles, listening to sermons, praying, fellowshipping with other believers, or doing any other necessary disciplines.  But these disciplines are not boring when they are on the front line of battle with persecution, pain, and the ever present reality of sin. 

When I think that Scripture (or hearing a sermon) is something that I do to check off a list then I get bored with it.  But if I see it as vital to my growth in Jesus, absolutely necessary to my effectiveness in ministry, and a shield from the enemies fiery darts, then I cannot afford to let it be a dust collector or a prop for my coffee table.  The same thing can be said of prayer and any other spiritual discipline.

It is possible that the congregation is plagued with narcolepsy at 10:30 every Sunday morning simply because of a boring preacher.  That is possible. 

But it is also possible that “boredom” in listeners may not be a preacher problem as much as it could be that the listeners are not actively listening because they are not being shaken up out in the field.  They aren’t hungry for the word.  And that hunger hasn’t been created because they aren’t being challenged by doing ministry amongst broken and sinful people. 

This leads to Part 3…

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