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Recently, I was listening to “Charlie Renfroe,” a Christian businessman  who wrote the book — “What Are You Working On Big?” He shared the story of being in business during a looming recession.
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“We saw a storm coming, and it was going to be a big storm!”
— audio clip —
(other links below)
As I listened, I thought about the storm, which may well be ahead for some local church ministries. Don’t know when it will hit — sometime in the next three to six months — but I think a storm is coming, and I think it will be a big storm!
When the storm comes, only those who are . . . .
- seriously concerned about it,
- alert to its potential gathering on the horizon, and
- willing to address it by making the changes and adjustments needed today
. . . . will be ready for its full impact.
I do not claim to be the only one announcing this “weather alert.” Many others are warning ministries and churches about the same potential storm. My vantage may only be distinct in that I see it from the vantage of one who is now watching from the other side of the pulpit and the other side of a professor’s desk.
Charlie Renfroe’s words might excite some to open up the cage of the 500 lb. Gorilla and face it straight on, rather than thinking that somehow they will be able to ride out the storm until it returns back to normal.
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One Pivotal Indicator:
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In recent weeks, I have had several regular church-goers say this to me . . . .
“I’ve been listening to “Pastor _________” on Sunday, and we have really enjoyed his preaching/teaching.”
“I don’t listen to my home church’s Sunday streaming. We listen to ___________.”
“Haven’t been attending, though services are open — primarily because we enjoy hearing the online Sunday service from Pastor ___________.”
There will be a good number of regular church-goers who will come to the realization that listening to “mediocre-to-poor-to-terrible” preaching was not one of the spiritual disciplines or part of God’s plan for developing patience. .
As Tim Challies states, There is . . . . .
no excuse for preparing bad sermons
But here’s the problem with that: An over-reliance on the built-in tools can keep us from learning the fundamentals of photography and without those fundamentals it’s tough to be better than decent. The photography field is now stuffed full of amateurs who can get some pretty good results with their automated cameras and their processing software, but it seems there are fewer professionals who really study the art and science of photography and whose work displays true excellence. (And, to be clear, I put myself firmly in the ranks of the amateurs…)
It occurs to me that what is true of photographers is, to some degree, true of preachers. Just as the modern era has given us such good tools that we have no excuse for taking bad photos, it’s given us tools that leave us no excuse for preparing bad sermons. Today’s tools are just too inexpensive and too good and too widely available for that.
Many a member and attendee of local churches across America will come to realize that he/she needs a real spiritual meal on Sunday! They have or will come to realize that a meaningful biblical message is available, but not at the church they have been attending. While their church may provide good fellowship, the other “wing” is broken and unable to land them into “Monday Morning’s” broken world.
I think that storm is coming!
Because . . . .
There is no excuse for poor preaching!
1. “What are you working on Big? “– by Charles H. Renfroe
“Hometown Tuscaloosa Alabama, attended University, worked my way through with “Charles’s” Lawn Service”…joined billboard company of Lewis Mandersons Creative Displays started “Outdoor West”..wrote book “What are you working on Big?”
That my children and grandchildren and those special close friends would know me as more than a successful businessman entrepreneur; but rather a good father, grandfather, husband and friend!…and that I would quicken the step of all that I encounter by my encouragement to them… and have them know that this world is not our home but that we are predestined to be at one with our Father who sent His Son to be a sacrifice for all that we had boogered up on! Praise the Lord!”
2. Multiple articles on the state of preaching today . . . .