Thursday, October 25, 2012

Order Up!

The preacher is not a chef; he's a waiter. God doesn't want you to make the meal; He just wants you to deliver it to the table without messing it up. That's all. (John MacArthur)
I posted this quote about preaching to my Facebook page last week... and received some interesting responses that started my brain on a couple of detours I wanted to share with you. 
  • "Waiter! Could I have seconds please!?" 
I have to say that your average pastor (and by that phrase, I'm really talking about me, myself & I) would be floored by a request for "seconds". Don't get me wrong - I get compliments, comments & questions that indicate that the folks in my church are listening and struggling to apply the Biblical truth I'm trying to preach/teach. But that "hungry for more" attitude just isn't that common.

Is there a way to change that? I think it's a bit like practicing for those crazy eating contests - you know, "how many hot dogs can you eat in 10 minutes"? (The guy who won the Coney Island competition in 2012 managed 68!) If you're going to eat a lot of food, you've got to get your stomach properly expanded - used to taking in food. If you're going to want more Biblical truth, you've got to get your heart & mind properly expanded - used to taking in Scripture... and that means you need to study, read & learn throughout the week, not just on Sunday mornings.
  • "I'll have what she's having."
This comment is care of a libertarian atheist friend who was referencing a famous scene from WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... and I'm pretty sure he wasn't intending to give me a spiritual illustration when he posted it. (That's OK - he's been a good friend and a great source of sermon illustrations & quotes for a very long time.)

A Sunday morning tip: when you are moved by the preaching & teaching at your church, it's OK to let it register on your face. People around you can see you dealing with spiritual truth and it increases their chances of doing the same thing.

Perhaps you're not a demonstrative person - that's OK! You can share with others - verbally, online, whatever - what God did in your life through the teaching. When you do that, you make others "hungry" to have what you're having! 
  • "If you bother the waiter, he'll spit in your food."
This is actually something I try to keep front & center in my preparation and presentation. It's very easy for those of us who preach on a regular basis to take out our frustrations & hurts with a few individuals on the entire congregation... and it's a sin.

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