It wasn’t long ago that I was in a class, a Sunday school class, for adults that is, when the concept of the used car salesman sprung to my mind. Let me start with my thinking of the proverbial used car salesman.
Loud, talkative, self serving, overly aggressive, pushy, annoying, manipulative dishonest; need I go on?
So Carl – what is the connection with Sunday School class and a used car salesman?
Well let me tell you a story
As many of you may know, we have been church going folks for over 40 yrs, listening to a man preach and teach from a pulpit. So many different men that we have been privileged to sit under, (and some that were a blessing to leave behind).
One of those preachers was a loud man, a man who felt volume was enough, that emotion should be the prime motivator for Christian living, that thought charisma was more important than character, and that saw himself as one amongst equals – although he was more equal than the rest of us. (Get my meaning?)
Nevertheless, after a decade of conventional church life, my wifey and I tripped into home bible studies, where a group of believers join together in a home, sometimes share a meal, have a bit of a study, and fellowship during desert – Yay for desert!. This ministry style has greatly impressed my wife and I and we love being a part of a group of caring believers. It is typically the high point of our week!
Contrast this style of interactive dialogue within a group setting with the typical church service, where one man dominates with a monologue. One person directs the singing, all planned, rehearsed and practiced. One ministers and the rest of us sit on padded seats, passively receiving.
So naturally, we tend to look for a sunday school class that mimics the dialogue style of the home bible study ministry we have been involved with and blessed by. We have been blessed with a class that we enjoy in our present church, and look forward to going each Sunday.
But the used car salesman lurks about in every meeting we attend. That one who wants to dominate the airwaves, sell his scheduled teaching notes without question, plough through honest questions, and speak of their experiences and victories while others suffer quietly, feel insufficient and are downtrodden.
Is this the correct way to minister to others – that is, to bluster your way through an allotted time, with nary a care of the one “buying” the product? Is the monologue style of ministry producing thinking Christians who can stand up and declare their beliefs, even amongst their own?
I realize I am on a bit of a rant right now, but I love being involved in a group as a participant, and not as simply someone that is “buying a product” from the teacher.
Consider Paul’s description of the Lord’s servant in the following passage.
2 Timothy 2:24
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Notice the terms used in this short passage, and consider if you have met a “Lord’s servant” recently.
- Not quarrelsome
- Able to teach
- Patiently endure
- Correcting opponents with gentleness
If you are in a church with a Lord’s servant, praise God. If you have a friend who lives this life, praise God even more. Even better, if you know the Lord, be the servant He wants you to be in your daily life, amongst friend and foe, loved ones and strangers.
It is the way!
Thanks for putting up with my rant! I sometimes need to realign my thinking regarding Christianity and I find that writing helps me to get my thoughts in order.
If you have a comment or question you would like to provide, please take advantage of the comment box below. Thanks again, and may the Lord bless you in you daily walk with him.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.