Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Swinging for the fence

It’s tempting to swing for the fences in preaching. I suspect I’m not the only preacher who looks for that perfect point, that ideal illustration that sends the ball over the centerfield fence and the congregation jumping up and down about the preacher’s Very Memorable Message. There’s certainly nothing wrong with aiming for hard-hitting preaching.

But realistically, we don’t always send the ball out of the park. While we ought to see dramatic results from our preaching, at least sometimes, the real benefit for a congregation comes over the long haul. Whenever a preacher holds up the Word of God, that Word will do its work in the hearts of listeners, whether the words themselves are memorable or not. Over time, the Word will make dramatic differences in the lives of those who open themselves to its transforming power.

None of this is to say we ought not to swing hard. It’s just a reminder to take hope in the power of steadfastness. What ball team wouldn’t rather have nine bloop singles an inning than one towering home run and three big K’s?

(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley

No comments: