There was loud music playing through massive speakers all over the place. You could really feel the excitement in the air. It was such a surreal experience for me. Thousands of people gathered together to see him. To hear him. What an event it was! “It is our only and last hope”, people said. Conservative pundits propelled him to the front as our champion, our warrior, one of us—just think about that, one of us.
It was 2012. Wow—seems like a dramatically different world, doesn’t it? We were at a campaign rally for presidential candidate Mitt Romney. We went to see him. We were excited. We were hopeful. Hopeful. Polls were already showing an unfavorable tendency, but we were tightly holding unto freedom, peace, and Christian values.
The secret service came out and the crowds broke out in tasteful accolades of praise and cheers for the man who was coming! He came in. He spoke. We chanted our heartfelt support. He left. We left. He lost the election. We moved on. That’s life—and it’s a sad life. I don’t want that life. Not anymore. There has to be something better. There has to be someone better.
I genuinely believe that as Christians we are often guilty of placing the names of our heroes far higher than the name of Jesus—our Savior. We are idol makers. We are idolatrous beings. That’s our tendency, our frailty. But nothing—absolutely nothing—can surpass our admiration and adoration of our King.
It may be other pastors or ministry figures that we follow with such intent, that it disgraces our Savior. It may be your favorite political party or politician, or it may even be yourself—big dreams of personal success and flourishing life. It could be your children, church, or TV network, but whatever it may be, it needs to stop.
Society has changed and speaking about Jesus is not enough—we must live it out. Several decades ago it was enough to advocate for conservatism, traditional beliefs, and Judeo-Christian values. Not anymore. It used to be good to be conservative. It used to be normal to be traditional. It used to be logical to be Christian. Not anymore. We need to do more than just speak about Jesus, we must show our faith with our lives.
Saying that you believe is not enough, you must demonstrate your beliefs through action. It’s completely logical if you think about it. Medical doctors eventually need to “heal” people. Architects eventually need to draw blueprints. Christians eventually need to show Christ—and the time is now!
Let me give you three areas in which you can speak but also live out your Christianity—start today!
Let our words show
Social networks have become a brutal battlefield! What began as an idea for uniting people, (remember Hi5 or MySpace?), has become a weapon for social disruption. We want everyone to agree with our ideas, and will make it utterly clear and public when we find someone who is not on our train of thought. Can I give you this advice? “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise,” Proverbs 10:19.
How can we say that we are fulfilling the Great Commission when we so publicly disdain and demonize those whom we are supposed to reach? Are we under the illusion that we are supposed to reach only those who are as conservative as we are? How could we speak about Jesus reaching the lost, when all we seem to want is for the lost to leave us alone—to give us back our country?
Are your posts mostly attacking, criticizing, and judging those who are not like you? Are your posts using the name of God in vain? Are your posts motivated by personal spite? Do you enjoy and seek for arguments with other people? Can you not refrain yourself from writing comments under certain posts? Are you constantly fighting and arguing with other pastors? What makes you think that it is godly and appropriate to so publicly engage in pointless quarrels?
Paul said that pastors must be, “blameless, not soon angry” (Tit. 1:7)—how many pastors have disqualified themselves from the pastorate? The world is watching you. Let your words show Christ.
Let our example show
What a terrible testimony it is for the sake of the kingdom, when we lead in a way that is so contrary to that in which Jesus led. We have equated church growth to corporate growth.
How do you speak to your staff? How do you treat them? Why do you set certain expectations for them? Is it because you care for the well-being of the church, or the advancement of your vision?
We have strayed so far from the example that Jesus gave us. Biblical leadership is service. Biblical leadership demands humility. It requires that you die to your plans, dreams, and expectations.
Let’s be honest here. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram showcase the “big and the famous.” We want to be like them. We subscribe to their podcasts, newsletters, or YouTube channels. We want to do what they do so that we can achieve the same results.
We push our staff to work harder and longer. We want more people, more viewers, better website, more visits. We become domineering, arrogant, dictatorial. Our leadership style often displays our heart’s desire. We strive for that which we consider valuable. Your staff is watching. Let your example show Christ.
Let our preaching show
Don’t you hate it when you are listening to a podcast, and it takes forever for them to speak about the subject? Friend, the world needs God’s Word desperately. Why would we hold it any longer? Unleash the Word, let the gospel run freely, and get out of God’s way! God doesn’t need you to change America. God doesn’t need you to change your church people. America, your church people, and the world need the Word.
Your preaching is not the opportunity to criticize, judge, and be opinionated. The world already has that—from thousands of politicians, influencers, pundits. God placed you in your church to preach. Preach expositionally, explaining the authorial intent, and working well both exegetically and hermeneutically. Be diligent, don’t easily fall into the temptation to use your pulpit to talk about the latest news. Jesus deserves every single minute of your preaching time.
Remember when Martha poured a costly perfume on Jesus? Some were upset about the “waste” of money. Jesus rebuked them by saying, “Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always,” Mk. 14:5, 6.
In a similar sense, when preaching, Jesus deserves our all. We will always have more news, more elections, more politicians, more “stuff” to talk about. But when it comes down to preaching, Jesus deserves every single minute. Put everything aside, and preach the Word. Your people are watching. Let your preaching show Christ.