A moron wanted to cut firewood. He goes to the hardware store and asks advice on the best tool. The sales clerk leads him to the chain saws and tells him this is the only way to cut firewood. Our hero buys the chainsaw and proceeds to cut firewood.
Three days later he returns to the store hopping mad. He yells at the salesclerk. “THIS IS THE STUPIDEST SAW I HAVE EVER SEEN! IT IS HEAVY AND IT TOOK FOREVER TO CUT ONE SMALL LOG!” The hardware employee takes the saw, pulls the rip cord, and the saw roars to life. The moron sheepishly asks, “what’s that noise?”
Is the American pulpit a giant unstarted chainsaw? Is much of what we consider effective actually an exercise in futility? Are we being as clumsily with the truth as that moron with his dormant tool?
Yes’ I am afraid it is true. I am accusing many right here and now of looking at all the wrong indicators. If a crowd is the only goal then the World Wrestling Federation is revival.
The goal cannot be popularity, it must be influence. The power to order a generation to change direction is way different than amusing them for an hour on Sunday morning. The sad fact is, American Christianity has dropped in influence like a labor union in Wisconsin.
We may be the only army in history that can ignore all of the ground the enemy is taking by basking in how beautiful and well attended the barracks are.
Too many pastors now dress silly, and do a bad impression of Anthony Robbins. They are not making Christianity better, they are only making motivational speaking worse.
America does not need supermen. It needs supernatural men. Men who will consistently say no to self and yes to the Holy Spirit. In your quest for “relevance” remember the Holy Spirit’s power to decode this culture with “a mouth and wisdom that no man can gainsay nor resist.”
Before you decide on a message consider these things:
1. This Sunday do not depend upon your own wit and ingenuity. Do not enter your pulpit armed with something some else has said that impressed you. Don’t be an echo, be a voice. Do not distrust or despair of the immediate and extraordinary aids of the Holy Spirit. When you ask God for a sermon be ready to see that He already has something in mind that may be the complete opposite of what you want to say.
2. Make room for the moving of the Holy Spirit. Time to slay the golden idol of time management! What if God wants to break out among the people? What if God fell this Sunday and did in one day what your plan says will take 5 years?
3. Prepare yourself more and your sermon less. Take a truth that God is burning in your heart. Pray until that truth overcomes you completely. Let the fire of the Holy Ghost build up in you until you cannot take it anymore and go out and explode on the people. Burn your notes if you must!
2Corinthians 10:4 says, ” The Weapons of our warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through God to the tearing down of strongholds.” We are an unstarted chainsaw. If we were to pull the cord and start the engine, we would see a Holy Spirit driven preaching that would cut through our nation’s darkness with mind-boggling effectiveness.