For the past 5 years, I’ve had one pie in the sky dream, ever since I came to know Christ I’ve wanted to preach and share his Gospel truth to millions. I’m not saying it’s something that I’ve gotten a ton of practice at or am even particularly gifted at it. However, nonetheless I’ve had a vision of me standing in a packed auditorium and sharing the Gospel as hundreds upon thousands surrender their hearts to Christ in a grand altar call.
I imagine the likes of Billy Graham moving hearts with the word of God. Looking at ministries like Joyce Meyer, I have decided that the trajectory of my life could actually lead to that being a possibility. I’ve determined to develop as a speaker, to get more comfortable with crowds, and to learn more and more about God’s word for the purpose of sharing the Gospel.
In doing all of this, I have slowly placed a piece of my heart and energy into building this dream. I mean, that’s what you do when you’ve got a goal, right? You plan for it, position yourself for it, and you make sure you’re ready when opportunity knocks.
However, here is where preparing for the future slaps Jesus in the face.
In prepping for tomorrow, where is your heart today?
Looking for the big Gospel payoff later, who are you ministering to today?
Your goal should not be the highlight reel of big stage ministry, without committing to a life of behind the scenes sacrificing.
In a conversation with my Pastor, he asked me a question which should be very simple to answer,
“What do you want?”
I was amazed at how hard that was for me to answer. It began to unravel in my heart some ungodly motives for the godly dream in me.
Months prior to that moment I would have easily said, I want to be a traveling evangelist but since then I’ve been called to have greater impact at home, in my house, with my family, with my friends, with my coworkers, neighbors, and church members.
I didn’t ever stop and look at that increasing calling in light of my goals and dreams.
I didn’t really have a response to the question. I only said,
“I want to be greater.”
That was true. I wanted to be a greater version of who I am today. A greater father, greater husband, greater pastor, greater friend, neighbor, and so on. However, that is not what I’ve been working toward in action or heart set. I’ve been building a greater platform, not building a greater me.
As I write this it reminds me of a quote of Truett Cathy,
“If we get better, our customers will demand we get bigger!”
What if I decide to plant my heart in the ground on which I stand and determine that I will simply be greater right where I am instead of simply digging a ditch for tomorrow and waiting for rain?
I believe this is a lure of Devil.
How do you keep the hard work of real love from happening today? How do you keep ministry from changing a community?
You keep the ministers and workers planning for greater ministry, waiting for a bigger stage.
When I examine my former dream even further, I recognize that I desired a self centered, very non-Jesus version of ministry.
Jesus was a healer.
Jesus was a friend.
Jesus was a teacher.
More obvious than all of these, Jesus was a lover of people not an evangelist.
He didn’t plan for crowds, he started speaking and crowds gathered. He was about his father’s business wherever he found himself and fruit followed. Chasing fruit was not his game, he loved hard and often and fruit resulted.
Evangelists don’t help people.
Lovers of people help people.
Today sounds like a great day to focus on full time loving people and let God build tomorrow’s ministry as He sees fit.
Time to stop trying to get bigger, and just love people better.
How can you re-imagine your dream to better love others?
You are a great lover of people, and God has been using you to speak truth to all He puts before you. I’m so proud to be called your friend. You have a great gift, your joy is poured out on us all!, and yes we must be careful of the unspoken motives of the fallen heart.
Thanks as always for the encouragement Britt! I too am honored to count you amongst my truest of friends. Appreciate the comment.
Hi Arman ,
You’re right in fact, we’ve changed the image of a evangelist into one of a rockstar ! Trying to get bigger !
John the Babtist was a evangelist: “He must become greater, I must become less” (John 3.30).
Stephanus did not die as a deacon but as a evangelist!
?? Lovers of people help people – evangelists don’t ??
You must hear the message of Jesus’ redemption:
“faith comes from hearing the message,
and the message is heard through
the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17).
in order to avoid
“For as the body without the spirit is dead
even so faith without works is dead”
John Wesley did a good work too. But after he died the church
established and cleaned oneself of sinners in a bad way. And therefor
God called William Booth out of the movement for soup soap a n d salvation.
Christ wasn’t crucified just for loving sinners, – but without love – it’s n o t h i n g .
We must be aware of the risks of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Being a “evangelist” or a “lover”, without the spirit we are dead .
By the way , we did not only changed the meaning of evangelist,
we changed a lot more what’s called christianity.
I wish we can show again the father as he is , it’s about the babies.
Keep on, brother
Thanks for that response. I know the tension between what God calls an evangelist and what that image has become is really where I am writing this from. Thanks for applying some biblical history and truth to this angst ridden post. 🙂
Thanks for that response. I know the tension between what God calls an evangelist and what that image has become is really where I am writing this from. Thanks for applying some biblical history and truth to this angst ridden post.