Thursday, July 15, 2010

The High Calling of Reminding

"Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder,..."— 2 Peter 1:12-13, ESV

Remind. When I really think about my calling as a pastor/teacher, I am confronted with this truth: I am called to remind. In fact the majority of my job as a pastor/teacher it remind. Of course there are people who have never heard the gospel of the things of God, and to them it is brand new. But for the rest, I am called to continually bring before Christians what they have already heard and for many what they are already doing. Of course it is a journey to dive in Scripture as God takes you deeper and deeper, but there's nothing new under the sun. So three thoughts come to mind here:

1). Creative reminders are helpful. Just because I'm reminding doesn't mean that I have to do it the same way. Of course the key to the reminder is the message. Once creativity alters the message in any way, the creative process needs to stop so that the pastor/teacher embraces the true message once again.

2). Passionate reminders spur on passion in those you remind. If I remind in creative ways but not in ways that show my passion for the message, it's pointless. It could be the most creative explanation of a specific biblical concept that has ever hit this planet, but if it doesn't seem like I have bought into it, no one else will either. If I haven't bought into it, I can't lead anyone to follow because I'm not going anywhere either.

2). Remind instead of reinvent. There is such a temptation for pastors/teachers/professors to find the "new stuff" that no one else has found so that others are blown away with their insight. I mean that's how one gets an amazing book deal. The only problem is that for many times God's message is reinvented in such a way that the true message is manipulated for someone else's benefit. The goal in teaching Scripture is to relay the original message of God as he wrote it and then apply that message to a 21st century culture that isn't the same as the culture that Jesus walked around in. We must be true to the message, open to other ideas and opinions, but always staying true to the main things. To not be true is "stretch the truth". Stretching the truth is just a nicer phrase for lying.

So a teacher who is able to remind in a way, that captivates the audience and moves them to respond (all of this a working of the Holy Spirit of course), is a faithful witness and reminder of God's truths. Pastor/Teacher: don't grow weary. If you've ever said, "I know you've heard me say this before...", then realize that you are doing exactly what Christ has called you to: remind.

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