We just had a guest speaker a few weeks ago. And frankly, I didn’t like what he said, and especially how he said it. It was just so “Christianese” – lingo that has long since become cliché. He made a couple good points, and they were good, important, even. He was sincere, and lived out what he was teaching. But the form made it difficult for me to listen to.
I spoke to a new guy on the scene—he’s pretty young—and he told me what I thought: that the message wasn’t very good, that it was in a form he couldn’t hear. Then I was debating within myself as to whether I should let him back to speak again.
But God spoke to me and said, “It takes all types to minister to different people.” So I asked more folks about their opinion of our guest. The folks on the street really appreciated his message and thought it was great. It really ministered the gospel to them. I was shocked, and I realized my own limitation.
Many of us in “on the edge” ministries have a reverse prejudice. We feel the prejudice against the outcast so readily, that we often forget that there’s nothing wrong with mainstream ministry as well. It’s all style, all culture. The question is not right or wrong—it is whether people are communicating the gospel.
I have had people so limited by one denomination or one style of ministry that they think that ministry cannot be done in any other way. I am often decrying that. But I have to warn myself against the same attitude. I cannot reject any ministry based on cultural presuppositions. Jesus crosses all culture. And—dare I say it—Jesus can even be found in stereotypical Christian lingo.
God save me from my unknown prejudices.