Chuck Terrill: Get out of the way, preacher!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The History Channel once aired a docudrama called “The Bible.” It portrayed favorite stories from the Bible. The ten-hour long series covered biblical scenes from Genesis to the book of Revelation. We were at church on Sunday evenings when it aired, so I recorded it each week, to watch later.     

I turned “The Bible” on for our twin grandchildren to watch on a Friday afternoon. The twins were nearing age four.

Alex was mesmerized, standing right in front of the television set. Of course, Alex was blocking the view, and Lily was exasperated. She yelled at him, “Alex! Get out of the way! I want see Jesus!”   

When he didn't respond, she gave him a hard, sisterly shove. After he was on the floor, everyone in the room could see Jesus.

I wonder how many in our congregations experience the same exasperation? Could it be that many just want the preacher, the teacher, or the worship leader to get out of the way so that they can see Jesus? After all, Jesus is the focal point of all Christian assemblies. If He is not the focus, there is something dramatically wrong.

I was thinking about my good friend, Charlie Greer. He retired a number of years ago, and has now gone to be with the Lord.

I don't think that I ever heard Charlie preach where he did not say, “More than anything, I would that you know my Jesus.” He began every sermon that way, and he meant it. Charlie was a simple man. A humble man. He didn't have a big ego to battle. When he went to the pulpit, he wanted to fade into the background and he wanted Jesus to move to the forefront. That is just the way it should be.

The next time I stand on the stage to preach, I am going to try to remember Lily's admonition to her brother, Alex. “Get out of the way! I want to see Jesus!” I will remember Charlie Greer's admonition: “More than anything, I would that you know my Jesus.” My congregation deserves no less.

Some Greeks came to Philip, with a request: "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." (John 12.21) 

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.