“I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.”Galatians 4:20
Be The Other Voice
Pastors notice a phenomenon in their congregations when a special speaker comes to visit. The faithful pastor spends weeks of delivering lessons and preaching sermons, albeit with little perceptible response. Yet in just a few minutes, the guest preacher has the congregation ‘eating out of their hand.’
Wise preachers will avoid jealousy, and instead acknowledge an aged (nonetheless frustrating) truth: sometimes it just takes another voice.
Successful businesses when asked for the best advertisement medium reveal an obvert truth. The secret weapon is, that there is no secret weapon. All methods must be employed to make sales. A company should not invest all its promotional time or effort ONLY in television, radio, newspapers, mailings, sponsorings, internet ads, or emails. Any one of these will make up just one leg of the table, and without the others it produces no real results.
The Gospel is the offer of Christ’s Church to the world. She desires them to receive it, and through history has not hesitated to “put forth her voice.” (Proverb 8:1) The Lord has chosen “the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” and “to confound the wise.” (1 Corinthians 1:21, 27) The voice is the appointed method of delivery for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But let us not be timid to change our voice. DeWitt Talmage commented in 1885,
“We hear a great deal in these days about the coming man, and the coming woman, and the coming time. Some one ought to tell us of the coming sermon. It is a simple fact that everybody knows that the sermon of to-day does not reach the world.
What is the matter then? The sermon will have to be shaken out of the old grooves, or it will not be heard, and it will not be read.”The Coming Sermon
Strong words, for sure.
Many will have already jumped to the conclusion that something new must come out of the pulpit. Forgive me, Athenians, but we will not tickle your ears. You mustn’t move what God has fixed. The message (the King James Bible), the method (preaching), and the man (a converted soul) may no one change. But woe be to the believer whose feet are stuck to the floor!
What CAN we change? May I suggest a few for presenting the Gospel:
- The location.
- The tools.
- The approach.
- The frequency.
- The volume.
- The accompaniment.
- The persistence.
- The preparation.
- The earnestness.
- The occasion.
- The illustration.
Can you see that there are many ways you may change your voice and be true to the Word of God?
Results are still up to the Lord. Many will never change no matter how the Scripture is presented to them, as we read. Paul wanted to employ a different voice, but he doubted whether it would have any effect. Though Paul was weary, we find the Holy Ghost was not done with the Galatians. Listen, you will hear another voice, through the apostle Peter, “To the strangers scattered throughout… Galatia!” (1 Peter 1:1, exclamation mine) Peter was the follow-up to Paul.
From a lawyer’s perspective:
“According to mythology, Rome was destined to be founded by men of Trojan blood. Aeneas was the leader of these men. At the fall of Troy, he was able to escape with the help of his mother, Venus. All was in turmoil as Troy fell, yet he brought out his little son and his father. His men, on seeing Aeneas carrying his father on his shoulders, asked in amazement why he had taken the risk to bring him out. To this he replied, “As we are destined to found a great city, we will need the aged knowledge that this man possesses.”
Too many people today are prepared to discard past experience as not relevant. Neither the old nor the new alone is by itself sufficient.”Gerard Nierenberg
I hope this has stirred your heart and mind. I trust the message will ring true; not because I said it. We have vital words to deliver. The world depends on you to hear it.
Be the other voice.