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June 2024

Pastor’s Perspective – June 2024


Parroting The Gospel


“Monkey see, monkey do, I am not a monkey and neither are you.”

My grandfather said this to us repeatedly when I was a child. It was his way of reminding us to be individual thinkers. To consider distinct approaches to life and our choices. His words became embedded in his grandchildren and each of us can finish the statement when prompted.

Repetition can help to hammer ideas into the heads of people. That said it can also be infuriating to those who hear the words and, as I have learned with experience, difficult to have the endurance to share the words the same way every time.

I have heard countless pop stars mourn the duty to endlessly play their hits to audiences that are fixated on the same bended note or drum fill played with precision exactly as they heard it for the first time.  Performers and often time preachers can tire of repeating the same old story, even when our only task is to share that one truth.

So, we try to innovate the old story, tell it a new way, find a new wrinkle, and discover a new entry point in the story. Innovations can allow old stories to come to life in new ways as we use computers to tell stories with digital images that could have never been told using a camera and makeup. But what happens when innovation changes the story itself, what happens to us when our search for innovation and freshness leads us away from the truth.

It takes endurance to share the Good News, and often times we become exhausted by the repetition. I often find myself attracted to the study of prophecy or other esoteric biblical topics. When we grow tired of preaching the call of God to love God and our neighbors it is easy to embrace the freshness of obscure passages of scripture or the potpourri of social issues and world affairs with eagerness and joy.

I am embarrassed by this admission, but it must be said to emphasize the difficult task of being a messenger of the Gospel.  We often feel that we are boring our audience by saying the same things every week, so we try to polish it up a bit with a turn of phrase or an innovation in language and worship style. While this is not a ‘hanging offence’ it can often derail us from our first calling.

It is a thankless job to be a good messenger, just as it is a thankless job to be a good administrator, or civil servant. It is boring to be good and faithful in your tasks, but often the world turns on the faithful execution of your job. Each rivet being placed in the right spot maintains the integrity of a skyscraper, each number in the right column maintains the integrity of the accountant’s ledger, and the maintenance of solid preaching and teaching nourishes the Church in a world desperate for the light of God.

In a world that offers a million distractions for every moment, it is important for the Church to emphasize the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God and the community of the Holy Spirit as frequently as possible.

In His Spirit,

Pastor Dan