I like messages that move me toward needed change. I like messages that confront me and challenge me with doable actions.
I have heard this saying “The great commission says to make disciples not converts.” That just sounds like someone got off on the wrong side of the bed, and now Mr. Grumpy-pants has a problem with this amazing season of soul winning.
Yes, we are to disciple and I can guarantee you when you are truly making Disciples of Christ (not man or ministry) you will be doing some converting. You will be converting chaotic households to safe home environments. You will be converting some women of promiscuity to women of integrity. You will be converting marriages. You will even convert communities if you hang in there long enough.
Here are the kind of messages that seem to convert, oh I mean disciple.
1- Messages from the heart to the heart When a person reveals their heart we feel connected. We get a sense of their life flowing. We sense they have wept over this issue and even laughed about it. A heart that has walked through the misery and came out with Jesus abounding joy, speaks loud. Something flows out of them that says they have first hand knowledge of Jesus. Second hand news doesn’t inspire, it turns people off. We all need those heart to heart conversations.
2 – Messages that have been prayed over during preparation. Look at it this way, we use some oinments for aches and pains in our bodies. What makes some of the ointments work better than others is not so much the ingredients but the methods of preperation and the curing process the ingredients go through. Praying during the preparation of a message is the curing process. It gets the fragrant ointment of Jesus on the message. The message now has cleansing and healing properties to it.
3 – Messages that are interesting and engaging. There are a lot of people that don’t come to church for one simple reason, the don’t understand the lingo. Common people don’t understand rocket science. It won’t be interesting to them, and sleeping people aren’t converted. Rocket science puts most common folk to sleep. The message is interesting enough that we remember what was said. I personally forget lectures and poetry. I really get to the edge of my seat when the unexpected, the awkward, or the out of joint happens and I remember it. I will even try to reenact it with my friends. I enjoy people when they are enjoying being themselves, that’s different enough to remember. Correcting me is easy when it is interesting, not condemning.
4 – Messages that are light AND fire. Some messages are all light and no fire and some are all fire and no light. It is one thing to stand on the street corner crying out “Believe, believe, believe.” But WHAT am I to believe. What is all the hoop-la about? There are amazing results when we marry the Word of God with the power of God.
5 – Messages full of truth (Jesus). Paul said he only preached the cross of Christ, because of the power of the Cross. It’s a message that will transform and convert the worst of the worst. (1 Cor 1:17,18) Billy Graham when asked about the content of his messages replied with “I make sure all roads lead to the cross.” The messages that truly ring my bell are the ones about the Cross that I can understand. It’s not shot over my head but aimed directly at my trembling heart. Frivolous, flippant and foolishness I can’t take seriously and my stubborn heart won’t either.
Q4U: Do you remember a message that turned you around? What was it about? Do you remember who gave it? Do me a favor today, not only leave a comment and let the world know but also if you can remember who gave it let them know too.