Not long ago, I was meeting with a very nice young couple and beginning the process of pre-marital counseling.
And during our initial conversation, the subject of the role faith would play in their marriage came up. As you would expect it would, given that I am a pastor and all.
Anyway, the concept of the “role of faith in your marriage” quickly morphed into “how committed will we be to church attendance as a couple?”
I find that happens a lot in pre-marital counseling.
So I recognized what was going on — in other words, “faith = church attendance three times per month” — and redirected.
And in re-directing, I went off script. I started some verbal processing. Speaking spontaneously. What we often call around here “talking to think.” If you know anything about how I am wired and how I operate, you know how unusual and dangerous that is. Because I am much more often one who “thinks to talk.”
Yet on this occasion, something good emerged. It actually happened that I kept talking til something good came out. Because as I was sharing with the couple that church attendance is but a means to the end of a living relationship with Jesus Christ, I blurted this:
I don’t want my preaching to instill loyalty to the church at the expense of surrender to Jesus.
Then, true to form, I asked the couple, “can you wait a minute while I write that down? That will preach one day.”
Or it will blog today.
Because I don’t want my preaching to instill loyalty to the church at the expense of surrender to Jesus.