About four years ago, maybe longer I went to a conference for youth pastors. There were a lot of well-known speakers and musicians leading the sessions which made for a great time of worship for everyone. There was one speaker in particular that was intriguing. He was, and still is, very popular and everyone was waiting to hear the message he was going to share.
I got a great seat and awaited the powerful message that I was sure God had laid on this man’s heart to share with the youth ministers. His wisdom and experience was going to be astounding and my mind was going to be blown. He came up and he started doing some cool tricks. I was in awe of his athleticism as he did flips and then he took out a baton and put fire at the end of it and blew a flame. WHOA!!! Not only is this guy going to give us incredible biblical insight, but he could do really cool tricks too!
Then, he opened his Bible! Here it comes! He had us turn to the beginning of the “Sermon on the mount” in Matthew chapter 5. Oh, this is going to be good. Then, he read the entire “Sermon on the mount”. What?! That was it! No deep message that will blow my mind and cause me to think about ministry and how I do it? Nothing that will cause me to walk deeper with Jesus! C’mon man!
I left so upset. Then, it hit me. That’s right! That is exactly what the Gospel message should be! We do not need to have flashy lights, awesome worship, a dynamic speaker (although, if you have a poor speaker at your church, sorry), but we do need to have the Gospel. The Gospel is what brings people, not the entertainment. The lights and sounds can be tools to help enhance the message, but they should not be the only message the people hear.
The Gospel message lives in us and should show through us. We do not walk this world to introduce people to our building, but to our Savior. Our worship team is not the Gospel. We should be living in constant praise and worship so people can see our love and relationship with Christ. Paul had it right in the passage above when he said “…the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world-just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it…” We do not need a show to share the Gospel. We do not need someone trained to send our friends to in their time of need. If we depend on the lights on the stage to lead people to Christ, then apparently the light that is in us must be dim. Let us depend on the Gospel to move in us, so WE can be the light that draws people to the Gospel. The good news of Christ is powerful enough to create a scene, so we don’t need a show to make it exciting.