How often does what we say get in the way of what we mean?
When I left the police and trained to be a church leader, I was constantly amazed at how much irrelevance to ordinary people could be crammed into three years. They took us away from reality so we could peruse dead German theologians, parse Greek verbs and practise putting our robes on.
There were two days in the final week on actual church leadership – a most memorable session on how to baptise babies (‘Watch you don’t drop them they can be slippery’), and another on ‘lay ministry’ (‘Make sure people who read the lesson have nice voices.”)
It took me years to unlearn.
One week kept me sane – when J John came. He’d studied at the same place and was invited to lead a mission. We could go out and talk with people who didn’t go to church and invite them to meet Jesus too! Radical thinking.
I went door to door around the streets to invite people, even praying with some on their doorsteps. Others came along to hear J John too, and I saw how simple preaching of the good news of Jesus connects with ordinary people – and still transforms lives forever.
He wanted to teach us HOW to preach with that kind of relevance too. I never took so many notes in a lecture! There really is nobody like John and I am so grateful that in the years since then he has invested in me, helped me and invited me to become one of his associates.
I’ll never forget one story he told that summed up how the church can so often not even notice its irrelevance.
He was talking about our sermon titles, and how we can assume knowledge in our messaging. He’d passed a poster outside a church advertising the titles of it talks for that coming week, morning and evening:
“TEN VIRGINS IN TROUBLE!”
“WHAT CAN ONE MAN DO?”
Well we know what they wanted to say….
Last week I received various texts from J.John to update me for prayer while he preached at Celebration of Hope in the 50,000 seat National Stadium of Singapore. It was sold out each night!
5,485 people responded publicly to commit their lives to following Jesus!
Two of the meetings were livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube, and at last count have had a combined 276,000 views.
While I love the worship gatherings, incarnational missions, programs and organic church plant ‘movement thinking’ the C21st Church needs to learn about and lean into, I contend thatproclamation of the gospel still has to be front and centre. Jesus called his disciples to be with him, go for him – and preach the gospel!
Whether you want to communicate this most vital message to your next door neighbour or crowds of thousands in ways that GOVIRAL I contend that you could learn from nobody better than J.John
And I’m thrilled that J John is joining us as a keynote speaker at LAUNCH 2019. He’s also agreed to do a seminar on preaching!
Book into LAUNCH now before the next price jump!