When I Preach

When I preach or speak, I hope for the inner-dialogue from those who listen to resonate with the words of Henri Nouwen in his book Creative Ministry.

"What you say loudly, I whispered in the dark; what you pronounce so clearly, I had some suspicion about; what you put in the foreground, I felt in the back of my mind; what you hold so firmly in your hand always slipped away through my fingers. Yes, I find myself in your words because you words come from the depth of human experiences, and therefore, are not just yours but also mine, and your insights do not just belong to you, but are mine as well." (35)

This will only happen if I am willing to be known as pastor and preacher, and only if I am willing to be fully available in relationship and connection. The pastor is still a fellow man, and the moment a pastor forgets that reality, they are not a pastor. They are a performer.

If I am Preaching

If I am Preaching

To preach is grace. To preach the gospel is amazing grace. I sat thinking of the enormous gift I have been given to do something that is truly worship for those who are wired in a similar fashion as me. I started to wonder what people walk away with after our time together. These are those reflections:

Grace of Preaching

amazing The story goes, a small church somewhere had transitioned pastors and began to see outrageous growth. There were not only people coming to church, but there were many who came to Christ.

An interested person visited to see what was happening there, and was able to speak with an elder.

"So what was it your old pastor preached." "He preached that we were all sinners in need of grace that can only be found in Christ." "What is it this new pastor is preaching?" "He preaches that we are all sinners in need of grace that can only be found in Christ." "I fail to see a difference." "Well, this new pastor preaches it with tears in his eyes."

I must say the fact that God continues to give me opportunities to speak and preach is all grace. That he continues to give me opportunities to speak about the gospel of his ridiculous love is Amazing Grace.

I have been made a minister, according to the gift of God's me the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach the unfathomable riches of Christ.

Every opportunity to preach the gospel is a reminder of how very little merit I have to deserve this honor and responsibility. I never take it so lightly as to miss how desperately undeserving I actually am. I am "less than the least of all God's people" who is continually given ludicrous grace to preach the outrageous, reckless, raging fury that is the love of God.

My evangelistic fame

Have you ever spoken a word of the gospel to anyone at my workplace? In my imagination, I see an interview about my evangelistic fame. I REALLY saw my past coworkers respond, “Huh?  PC? Famous for WHAT?  Well, I don’t know….PC was a great guy.  I mean I knew he was a Christian, but he didn’t come in here preaching or anything.  He was pretty cool about it.  He knew I was an alcoholic, and he still laughed with me.”  “You know,” says another, “now that I think about it; I can remember times when the store was crazy, and PC kept working hard to help where he didn’t really HAVE to.  I don’t know how many times he helped us in a bind.  I never noticed it then, but in retrospect, that guy really did work hard.”  “Yeah,” chimes another.  “He knew my husband was killed in a car accident last year, which left me to raise 2 teenagers alone, and PC listened to me every time I was stressed by kids, pained over my loss of companion, or just tired of work.  You know what?  I really think he cared about what I was going through, and I think he shared the joy somehow.”  Similar stories go around in this hypothetical interview of my coworkers.  Then the journalist goes to the coffee shop I ALWAYS go to.  He talks to ALL my friends and family…Christian and NON-Christian.

After its over the imaginary article reads, “PC Walker was an evangelist.  PC writes in his book, “Christians are so devoted to speaking the gospel (God's love) to or at people instead of living the gospel toward people.” (pg. random #, see footnote).  His living out of the gospel reached more people than all the sermons he ever preached, more than any book he has ever written."

I hope that, in reality, I will be remembered by everyone I will have moved on and left in my past as a man who lived the gospel better than he preached or wrote it…..