A friend reminded me of this story from Arnold Dallimore’s biography of Charles Spurgeon.
During the 1880’s a group of American ministers visited England, prompted especially by a desire to hear some of the celebrated preachers of that land.
On Sunday morning they attended the City Temple where Dr. Joseph Parker was the pastor. Some two thousand people filled the building, and parker’s forceful personality dominated the service. His voice was commanding, his language descriptive, his imagination lively, and his manner animated. The sermon was scriptural the congregation hung upon his words, and the Americans came away saying, “What a wonderful preacher is Joseph Parker!”
In the evening they went to hear Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The building was much larger than the City Temple, and the congregation was more than twice the size. Spurgeon’s voice was noticeably superior. But they soon forgot all about the great building, the immense congregation, and the magnificent voice. They even overlooked their intention to compare the various features of the two preachers, and when the service was over they found themselves saying, “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus Christ!”
What is the goal of our service to Christ and His church? I think John the Baptist has put it best. “He must increase. But I must decrease (John 3:30).” Our role as Christian leaders is that Christ would be lifted up and worshiped. That call is made more difficult when we allow our work and ministry to center on us. My prayer is simply that when people leave our church they will have a fresh understanding of “what a wonderful Savior we have.”