*This addresses all those who find themselves teaching the gospel and how it permeates the different parts of our lives. Which should be all of us.*
I want you to picture that you are standing behind the pulpit. Leading up to this, you were nervous and excited but now as you stand, looking into the crowd of familiar faces, you feel like you have a room full of strangers looking at you. Strangely, though, as you look up from your notes and your Bible you feel the familiar peace, that soothing calm and courage. A peace that surpasses all understanding. You start to preach. And then, something odd stops your flow.
There is a man standing up in the pew and raising his hand. You don’t recognise him.
Not that tall, plain but decent enough attire, shirt tucked in and his arm stretched all the way up. You don’t remember giving any sort of appeal just now and last you checked, sermons did not work like press conferences. So you try to ignore him for a few seconds and continue. This proves to be more of a problem because now he starts waving his hand to get your attention like an eager Eager Beaver, getting the attention of those around him and now people start to look away from the pulpit and start to turn around. And so, hoping to get this out of the way and continue the message prepared, you acknowledge him.
A clear but gentle voice responds.
“Sorry. I have a message for you. And this is the best time for you to hear it. For this is a message from the people you love, your church family, and those who have one foot in and the other foot out the door, and even those who are not your family in here, but certainly your neighbour out there.
There are a few things we would like to let you know:
1.Don’t be scared of us.
We may have scowls on our faces sometimes… A lot of the time… but please don’t let that stop you from asking us how we are doing or just saying hello. We can’t smell fear. We are probably more scared of you than you are of us. It would be refreshing to see you when you are not behind a pulpit. It might even be what our hearts need. That personal touch.