I have preached at the Pleasant Grove Campground near Waxhaw, NC five times over the past decade.
It’s always a great honor as hundreds of Methodists converge there every summer for a week of worship, renewal, and reunion.
I posted on last year’s experiece here.
But do you know what is the most frequent comment I have heard from the people there over the years?
Their surprise — and delight — that I routinely lift up the bible before speaking and then keep it open to refer to it during the message.
Yeah, apparently those two practices — thanking God for his Word and then actually using it during a sermon — are rare in some circles of Methodism.
If find that sad. And hard to believe.
What greater “tool of the trade” do we have? At Good Shepherd we can augment messages with videos, lighting cues, and tactile experiences, but all of that is null and void if the spoken word isn’t coming from the written Word.
So I’ll keep lifting it up and keeping it open.
Who knows? Maybe such a radical concept will catch on.