Ouch! Got drilled right between the eyes with this one. Kevin DeYoung is fast becoming one of my favorite “voices”. Piper, Mahaney, Carson, Lloyd Jones, Mohler, Keller, Chandler, Driscoll and The rest of the T4G guys serve as my mentors and pastors through what they have written and what they preach. DeYoung is reaching that level as well. Here is one of his latest posts, the first in a series that no doubt will be worth reading. I’ve pasted a couple portions of it for you here. Take a look, and take some thought after reading. It will be worth your time.
There have been times as a pastor where I’ve been discouraged by the slowness of growth in my congregation. I’ve thought, “Why is that church over there so successful? Why did they go from 150 to 1500 in three years?” I’ve even been borderline snippy at times, “Lord, if I get to heaven and find out there was some secret musical style or movie clip or new program I was supposed to use in order to be successful, I’m going to feel pretty bummed.” But in my saner moments I’ve come to see two things: One, it’s more my sin that wants success than my sanctification. And two, the secret is that there is no secret.
We cannot pass on what we do not feel. Whitefield blasted the church in his day because “the generality of preachers [in New England] talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ. The reason why congregations have been so dead is because they have had dead men to preach to them.” The next generation, every generation really, needs to hear the gospel with personal, passionate, pleading. There is a time for dialogue, but there is also a time for declaration. People don’t need a lecture or an oration or a discussion from the pulpit on Sunday morning. They need to hear of the mighty deeds of God. And they need to hear the message from someone who not only understands it, but has been captured by it.