13 Aug Safe with Jesus
Research reveals that managerial style directly influences workplace productivity. The bosses who harangue and manage with negativity do not get as much product from their employees as opposed to bosses that encourage workers with positive statements about their workers’ skills and talents. So why do so many preachers try to motivate their congregations with threats of hell and eternal loss? Could it be that we grew up with Jeremiah and other Old Testament prophets who really could stick it to their people? Negativity seemed to work for Jonah when he went to Nineveh, but that reformation was short lived and Nineveh did eventually fall. Fear is a horrible motivator.
Jesus was so different. He wanted children to come to Him. He told Nicodemus that God so loved the world. He forgave those who crucified Him. He told Zacchaeus He wanted to eat with him. Over and over His dealings with the common man were filled with compassion and love. The only times Jesus became harsh were when He witnessed the religious leadership abusing people. See Matthew 23. And we have to note His crucifixion quickly followed that tongue lashing.
To my colleagues and fellow preachers I appeal to be more like Jesus and less like Ezekiel. People are hungry to be loved. The news of the world frightens them. They don’t need to come to church and be frightened even more. Make church a true sanctuary from the terrorism that stalks our world. Love your people. Encourage and inspire. Inspiration fertilizes growth and becomes a part of people’s lives. Jesus said, “Fear not for I am with you even to the end of the world.” We are very much safe in the arms of Jesus.
Written by Roger Bothwell on August 13, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574