Below is an article for Bloomington, Illinois' The Daily Pantagraph about my late grandfather Rev. R.J. Zehr. There is a lot that I admire about him - as seen from my earlier blog - however this article reminded me of his commitment to community or region where he served. As you will see in the article, he was given the opportunity to a national radio program in the day when radio was king. However, he passed on the "golden microphone" to say focused on the people with whom he lived, worked and played
Looking back it is clear that he made the right decision. Ture, he never got the name recognition of others in his era - many who were his friends - and as a result I am confident that you never heard of him. Nevertheless, he got to know his people and his community and in the end had an incredibly fruitful ministry. He earned the respect from those in and outside the church as he stayed focused on loving and serving the people right in front of him.
It has only been in recent years that I have come to appreciate his decision as I see countless men more concerned about their notoriety then they are about be faithful service to Jesus, His people and their community. Yes, they get far too concerned with the number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, but my primary concern is that they preach to the world wide web and not the people sitting right in front of them. As result they miss the very people that God has called them to shepherd!
The next time you preach, will you pause and think about who you are REALLY preaching too? If you are preaching to your web audience, why are you doing it? Has God called you to that, or are you hoping to be discovered?