Early in my pastoral ministry an elderly man gave me some good advice. He said, “Brother, don’t ever try to be a big preacher. Instead, preach a big Savior.”
The following story illustrates what happens when a minister exalts Christ: A skeptic was asked by a friend to go and hear a gospel preacher who was known as a great orator. He agreed, so the next day when the two met, the Christian asked, “Well, what did you think of the preacher?” “I didn’t think much of him,” replied the other. Noticing the disappointment on his friend’s face, he continued, “I couldn’t think of anything of him. I could think only of the Christ he was lifting up – the Christ who is now my Savior!”
The importance of preaching “a big Savior” applied not just to the pastor but to the expectations of congregation as well. The other evening a discouraged pastor said to me, “It’s really difficult to be a minister today because so many people seem to want to be entertained in church. A fellow has to put on a three-ring circus to keep them happy.” What a sad observation!
Jesus Christ should be the focal point of all our thinking – especially when we attend church services. The preaching, the special music, the prayers, and the testimonies are missing their mark if they don’t combine to exalt Him. If we, whether pastors or people in the pew, view a church service primarily as entertainment, we’re all going to be disappointed. Our preaching and our worship should have but one goal: to glorify a big Savior. – Herbert Vander Lugt
I do not ask that men may sound may praises,
Or headlines spread my name abroad;
I only pray that as I voice my message
Hearers may find God! – Cushman
Christ means little to the church unless He means everything to the church.
- June 3, 1984, Our Daily Bread