Okay, I confess. I acknowledge I like watching ‘The Voice’. We record it and watch it fast-forwarding most of the parts, slowing down to watch the musical parts … at least the ones I think I’ll like.
The show is very intriguing to me because there are parallels to the roles within ministry, particularly preaching. It has been interesting to watch and see some individuals are technically correct in their presentation in that they say the right words, they have the right inflections, they smile and walk in all the right ways. However time and time again the choice is made in terms of how much ‘heart’ is in the song, or, in my own words, a sense of communicating on an emotional-level the song’s message is presented. One of the show’s critics stated that they would ‘rather be moved than impressed’. Does that not relate to preaching?
So, pulling this into the realm of preaching, in many pulpits the emotional sense of the message is lost or less than it should be. Perhaps this is because we have our preachers trained in classrooms, in an academic setting that is often devoid of emotional presentation in handling dynamic truth. Preachers too often emulate teachers rather than individuals passionate for people to respond to a soul-changing message.
I’ll keep this short, but in a couple weeks from the time of this writing Passion Week is here culminating with Resurrection Sunday. It is the time of year we remember the events of the cross and the wonder of Jesus rising from the dead. These truths can be presented as mere Biblical fact … or it can be presented with passion and conviction. I want both parts present.
Paul was unapologetic when he stated that his work was to ‘persuade’. In our culture this is less than cool, but it is a relevant aspect of what we are called to do. Yes, the Holy Spirit ultimately does the work of changing hearts and this is not done by mere men and women. But let us not fall down in our opportunities by presenting the truth with the dryness of a CNN report. It does not take tears or rending of garments, but let us not be afraid of our emotions when sharing that Jesus lives!
Your co-worker, Dennis