24 Feb Love Is The Basics
One of my graduate students has a 16-year-old student who says he is anxious to start a family. He is from a home with nine children whose parents do not work. He wants a child so the government will send him a monthly check just like they do for his mom and dad. My grad student is motivated to motivate this young man to catch a glimpse of what life can be as opposed to what life is.
As a teacher I have come to realize less than half my job is to dispense information. Over 50% is to motivate. Unless a student sees the value in something and wants it, the classroom experience is wasted. In one of my undergrad classes this semester I have a student who just doesn’t care and until I can motivate him to care he is wasting his money. (It probably isn’t his money, but that of someone who does care.)
It is the same with preaching. So often preachers have used fear as their chief motivator. Some preachers are so hot one can smell the brimstone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is nothing stronger than love. God is love. The Good News is all about how much we are loved. Good preaching isn’t making people feel like they have to change their lives. Good preaching is making people want to change their lives. I once had a church member, a physician, say to me, “When are you going to stop preaching all this love stuff and get down to the basics?” After I caught my breath from shock I said, “Love is the basics.”
I don’t want to scare the hell out of people. I want to love them into Jesus’ arms.