Here’s a great story I read recently:
Buck and Lynn Heard of Moultrie, Ga., own a bird dog named Queen Mary worth more than $30,000 because of the many championships she has won as a shooting dog.
Buck and Lynn go to field trials across the U.S., and often stay on the road for weeks at a time attending these events. Recognizing that their field trial running was taking them away from their church, they decided to ask each field trial host if they could invite people to a devotion 10 minutes before the breakaway–the time when the first dogs were let down to run each morning.
Last year, they were at a field trial in Lynn Haven, Fla., but they had to leave early. One of the men saw them packing up. He was cut rough around the edges. Buck said “he drove a four on the floor with a fifth of Jack Daniels under the seat.”
When Buck told the man that they were not staying another day, he asked Buck, “Well, who’s going to do it?”
“Who’s going to do what?” Buck asked.
“Who’s going to do the devotion?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” said Buck, “but I don’t imagine you’ll miss it.”
“I haven’t missed one yet,” the man replied. “I don’t go to church.”
With this confession, Buck realized that people were actually listening during the devotions he led. That they were important to people, even when it wasn’t obvious. So he said, “I don’t know who’ll do it yet, but I’ll make sure it gets done.”
As a pastor, I spend a lot of time working on the sermon I preach each coming Sunday. It’s considered the preacher’s Main Event. But really, it’s not that important. What is important, are the things regular people share with each other, in the middle of the day, sitting at work, or visiting at home. Some of those listeners will never walk into a church to hear one of my polished sermons, so the words they hear about how God loves them, coming from their friends and neighbors, are the most important words that they will hear.
Romans 10:14 says, “How can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?”
That means you have a big job to do. Yes, you! People need to know how to call for help and who to trust. But how will they hear about it if nobody tells them? That’s where you come in. You are a life-changer.
Most folks don’t feel like they’re knowledgeable enough or holy enough to teach people about God. But people don’t need fancy sermons from seminary graduates. They just need to know that you genuinely care, that you’re being honest with them, and you’re not trying to be a slick religious phony who’s “holier than thou.” People just want to know how to seek God’s presence, and you know how to do that, because you’ve been doing it. So share what you have learned, and let it change people’s lives.