Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Most Blessed Pastor

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.--2 Corinthians 5:18-21

I don't deserve to be a child of God. I do not deserve to be entrusted with the gospel message. I do not deserve the privilege of being an undershepherd. And I do not deserve to be born and live to see this time.

John MacArthur recently shared why he is encouraged:

[Rick Holland] What encourages you most about the future of exposition, and what discourages you the most as you look at the up and coming generation?

[John MacArthur] Well...I have to tell you that I am greatly encouraged. You know, we opened "the vault" at Grace to You [all mp3's are now free]. That was ridiculous.

[RH] What were the statistics of the first weekend or month...

[JM] Listen, just to put it into perspective, my thought was...we had a $3 deal where you could download a sermon on mp3...$3. We did four thousand a month. So that's $12,000 a month, $144,000 a year. We kind of thought, if people want it, they'll pay for it, and it will have value to them. And then we finally realized, people are getting stuff for free, they're getting bad stuff free. They're getting almost everything free. Why don't we just make it all free? It went from 4,000 a month [downloads], so far, we're in about the fourth month, to a million a month.

So, the great conclusion is, people preach what's free! That's scary. So if that's what they are going to preach, we got to get it to them free. [on the audio, these sentences are clearly tongue in cheek]

No, but it has removed the barriers. So my response: I literally, in one month went from wondering if anybody cared about Bible exposition, to being absolutely thrilled about how many people must be doing biblical exposition...because there is no other reason to be downloading that stuff. It's stunning! Al Mohler and I were talking about it yesterday, the young generation is coming up literally owning reformed theology and Bible exposition. I promise you, that is what is happening to the young generation. These older ministers and pastors who aren't into Bible exposition and aren't into sound reformed theology are not capturing the young generation. They are not capturing them.

MacArthur then went on to explain that the older he gets, the younger his congregation gets.

I see what MacArthur is saying, but I also see more. I must say that this is one other reason why I believe I am blessed beyond measure to pastor at Greenville Grace. I love our people. It has been a thrill to see younger generations respond to the church's ministry [we recently added a third nursery, and it really isn't enough!], but God has given us this opportunity without sacrificing the "older generations" (wince...who really wants to be labeled like that?).

I preached a heavy, hard sermon this week (you really have no other choice when God is killing people), but did not have to fear whether the congregation would listen and receive it. I do not face pressure that the church does not want to hear the Word. I told someone this week, "It's so nice to know I am at a church that would get rid of me if I chose NOT to preach the Word."

I love you all, and don't want any of us to take it lightly. He is the One who causes us to "hunger and thirst for righteousness." We have not done that work on our own. He's really doing an amazing thing here at Grace. But not just at Grace, but around the globe as well!

I truly do not deserve to shepherd at a church where people of all generations crave the Word of God.

Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.--Psalm 119:38

1 comment:

Margaret said...

We were not able to be at church Sunday (which we missed terribly), but Adam was there and here's what he said: "Mom, you gotta listen to Sunday's sermon. It was one of the best I've ever heard. Danny had a real burden and preached with more intensity than usual. I loved it."