I stumbled upon something that I would like to offer to this JCG community. What I stumbled upon deals with Celebration AND Cells. In recent weeks, I’ve been teaching on the parables of Christ. This past Sunday, I taught on the Rich Man and Lazarus. I taught verse by verse sharing different tid bits that I had learned through others. My desire was to “land” the message by stating: “Here’s what this parable means…cite three points and conclude the message.”
I wrestled with a pretty big problem during my preparation time. I really couldn’t say without reservation, “Here’s what this story told by Christ means.” The funny thing was– I was perfectly at peace not knowing the “answers.”
Immediately, a thought entered my mind. A friend once told me, “Rob, be careful about using blatant statements. Instead, ask good questions.”
Therefore, I concluded my message by stating, “This is the part of the message where I am supposed to cite three points and bring perfect clarity to this story of Christ. I am unable to do that. I would like, however, for you to wrestle with the meaning of this story by reflecting on the following three questions:
1. What is the big idea of the parable?
2. What questions does this parable beg you to ask?
3. What dominant emotion is present as you ponder this parable?”
This approach created a decent “buzz.” People were excited that they were challenged to individually reflect upon these questions and dialogue about them at their cell gathering.
Maybe the lesson for me was simple, yet powerful. The pastor does not have to be the “resident theologian” or the “Bible answer man” week in and week out. Trust the Spirit of God to speak to the body concerning the principles of a parable. I really (I mean REALLY) look forward to what God is going to do through our cell gatherings this week.
by Rob Campbell