There is too much “huff, puff, and fluff” in the church world today. I believe the Lord spoke that to my heart recently. And, I have been mulling the thought over and over again during the last few weeks as I travelled into the United States to minister.
His people don’t need more surface level teaching that tickle their ears. They don’t need more “smoke and mirrors” that sound good, look good, and are polished and professional. They don’t need more self-help teachings that arise more out of pop-psychology than from the Bible.
The Church needs to be taught God’s Word – the fullness of God’s Word, the depth of His Word. To teach for life change and transformation the leaders – preachers and teachers – need to be actively engaged in the ministry of the Word on a daily basis. In the early church the leaders found themselves being drawn away from their main ministry of the Word and prayer by the valid and often serious needs of the people. So they made a quality decision to not allow the pressures of ministry and the rapid growth of the church to derail their primary mission and calling. Acts 6:2 states, “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables….”
Leaders today need to return to their first calling…to know the word of God and teach the Word of God to the people of God. And, the people of God need a renewed hunger and thirst for the Word of God in its fullness no longer tolerating badly thought out and prepared teachings that are blamed on the Holy Spirit. In the early church there was a serious hunger for God’s Word among His people … Acts 2:42 states, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
When Paul began planting the Gospel of the Kingdom in the city of Berea it states that the non-believers there “…were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [ concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily.” That’s a powerful statement and one that believers should take to heart.
I believe that God’s people would be hungry for the Word if it was actually taught under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who inspired it. I believe that deep down inside God’s people want the unadulterated truth and don’t want a watered down, tickle-the-ear version of the truth. I believe that God’s people honour and respect God’s Word. In fact, as the Bible states, His people are standing in awe of His Word! Psalm 119:161b “… my heart stands in awe of your words.”
The Bible also states that His people are to have an actual fear of God’s Word, trembling when it is spoken to them. – Isaiah 66:5 “Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at his word.” It appears that this is lost in the Church today. However, I believe this is because the leaders, the teachers and preachers, are not preaching the Word but instead they are sharing their thoughts and opinions, their huff, fluff and puff.
God’s Word when it is honoured and taught correctly brings freedom and life to His people. This is what they need; this is what they are seeking; this is what is available IF the leaders will devote themselves to studying, understanding, and teaching God’s Word and teach it by revelation (Ephesians 1:17).
I encourage all leaders to set aside a number of hours every day to be in God’s Word for their own personal edification and growth and so that, saturated in His Word, they will know what God wants to speak to His people and will then teach a now word of the Lord each and every time they stand before God’s people. I believe that the people are ready – that it is a basic leadership problem.