What should be the goal of our preaching and singing together on Sunday mornings?
Should preachers try to have the clearest, most engaging, entertaining message they can? Should the worship team seek to have the coolest arrangement, the most passionate singing, the most exciting sound?
These things are not necessarily bad in themselves, but they are not the goal of our Sunday mornings. Jonathan Leeman shares this great illustration in his book, Reverberation:
A group of American Christians in the nineteenth century planned to visit London for a week. Their friends, excited for the opportunity, encouraged them to go hear two of London’s famous preachers and bring back a report. On Sunday morning after their arrival, the Americans attended Joseph Parker’s church. They discovered that his reputation for eloquent oratory was well deserved. One exclaimed after the service, “I do declare, it must be said, for there is no doubt, that Joseph Parker is the greatest preacher that ever there was!”
The group wanted to return in the evening to hear Parker again, but they remembered that their friends would ask them about another preacher named Charles Spurgeon. So on Sunday evening, they attended the Metropolitan Tabernacle, where Spurgeon was preaching. The group was not prepared for what they heard, and as they departed, one of them again spoke up, “I do declare, it must be said, for there is no doubt, that Jesus Christ is the greatest Savior that ever there was!”
Here is the goal of our preaching and singing together on Sunday mornings: That we proclaim Jesus Christ, our glorious Savior and all he has done for us, and urge everyone to respond to him appropriately.
When people leave our churches tomorrow, may they not say, “What moving worship, what a great worship band, what an incredible preacher, or what a cool building,” but may they say, “What an incredible Savior!”