We were talking about preaching to your target audience – your Outreach Avatar – and one of my preaching students shared that one of his elders was complaining about the sermon du jour on his way out on a Sunday morning. “Why do you preach about things that don’t relate to us?”
The pastor explained that preaching about relationships always relates to all of us, but that this week’s message really was about how to build strong relationships in young families.
The elder then snapped, “What are us old members? Chopped liver?”
The student confessed he didn’t know what to say … and that he’d heard comments like that about all the changes they’d been making to reach the next generation. “I’m not sure how to respond.”
Here’s my response:
“You’re a disciple of Jesus Christ, called to lay down your life, take up your cross, and follow Jesus into the mission field, also known as your neighborhood. You’re called to share your faith and to spend enough time actively loving your neighbors so that you have opportunities to share that faith in relevant ways. You’re called to live a life that sacrifices everything for the sake of the gospel … to be rich with the rich, poor with the poor, free with the free, and a slave with the slave. You’re called to do WHATEVER IT TAKES so that by SOME MEANS your neighbors might be saved. You are a Christian – an Ambassador of Christ. You represent him wherever you go 24/7/365. Any Questions?!“
He said he’d write that down. I thought that was a pretty good idea.