I recently heard veteran preacher Ben Merold open a sermon with a startling revelation—every preacher will be out of a job someday. Yes, that’s correct! Every preacher will be out of a job someday. Now, it’s not what you might be thinking. We leave one ministry for another. However, Ben’s revelation had more to the Revelation than real estate. He stated that someday we will be gathered together before God’s throne. And what will we do before God’s throne? Sing! With the Word standing before us, we will have no more reason to preach. We will only worship. So, for those of you who lead worship, consider this time practice time for eternity. Some of us are going to need the help in Heaven.
However, for those of us who preach, time is of the essence. We have work to do. Preachers and teachers prepare people for Heaven. Regardless of how we might define it, we are in the fishing business. When I was in college, I launched a traveling theatre troupe called “Fisher’s Men.” Our purpose was simple—to use theatre to share the Gospel with (primarily) teenagers. We traveled to Pittsburg following 9/11 and performed at a youth rally. It was a modest youth rally, and we were able to bring comfort and laughs to a grieving community. About a week later, we received an email from one of the teenagers who had been at the youth rally. He informed us that he appreciated us coming from Arkansas and sharing our faith in Jesus. As a result, he became a Christian the Sunday after the rally. Jesus once said, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people” (Matthew 4:19).
However, going is not simply going a long way. Going simply means “progress” or “advancement.” As long as the Gospel is advancing, we are fulfilling Christ’s command (Matthew 28:18-20). Going also means going across the street or going across the hall. We often confuse global evangelism with world travel or relief work. Now, there is nothing wrong with either activity, especially relief work which is desperately needed in many parts of our world. However, sharing our faith requires us to tell another about our faith. The question is, will we share our faith with our neighbors, co-workers and classmates? It is easier to share our faith with a total stranger. Yet, we are called to go. Jesus said that the church’s mission would start in a city, then move to a state, then to a country, then to the four corners of the world (Acts 1:8). Yet, it starts locally. Go on mission trips, yet do not neglect those who are spiritually stubbing their toes in the darkness at home. “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people” (Matthew 4:19).