You Are The Message

ShowIn a world apparently hungry for entertainment, distraction, glitz, glamor, and noise, we reserve the real hunger—our deepest hunger—for authenticity. The fame of celebrities is fleeting. They amuse us and fascinate us but our hearts yearn for something deeper.

Ironically, the church often yields to the celebrity-driven culture. We seek to compete with the “wow-factor”, oblivious to the reality that what we most desire is not a wow but a way—the Way.

We’ve apologized for simplicity and downplayed our traditions. We’ve spent large budgets on cameras and lights, to get action. If only we could package the message with greater creativity—more sizzle, razzle, and dazzle. If we build it they will come.

Church planters feel this pressure as much as anyone. Indeed some church-planting models require considerable support and resources before they even launch.

Then we open up Matthew 10 and it wriggles beneath our skin. Jesus prepared to send out His disciples and declared: 

9-10 “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

Jesus looks at His disciples and tells them to drop the props and leave the lights. To paraphrase Him, He declares what all of us need to hear. “You are the message.”

Our lives—raw, honest, authentic, real—are more than enough equipment in the hands of God. We struggle to believe it. But it’s true. And He seeks not our competence but our trust, not our cleverness but our willingness, not our self-confidence but our full-surrender.

The Kingdom of God is in us and among us. You are the message—with lives marked by fear and faith, stress and salvation, pain and hope, grief and love.

So, let’s speak softly, prayerfully, and assuredly today—with our eye on Him. The effectiveness of the message lies far more often in the character of the messenger than the pizzazz of the environment. You are the one through whom Christ wants to speak today. Believe it. Seek it. Yield to it. Trust it.

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16 Responses to You Are The Message

  1. Phil McKinley says:

    In John 17 Jesus prayed that people would come to believe through the disciples’ message. We are the entension of that, and we need to remember to pray for that very thing ourselves. Let us witness with the confidence that God prepares. He’ll do a better job anyway.

    • David Timms says:

      Phil, you’re quite right. Our confidence is not in ourselves or anything of our own making but in Him and the movement of His Spirit in the hearts of men and women. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Lansing Molzen says:

    Wow this is excellent and so timely. Thank you

  3. Elaine Wilson says:

    Hi Dave, Thank you so much for this beautiful and powerful encouragement.
    “Our lives—raw, honest, authentic, real—are more than enough equipment in the hands of God. We struggle to believe it. But it’s true. And He seeks not our competence but our trust, not our cleverness but our willingness, not our self-confidence but our full-surrender.”
    As I’m presently facing the death of one of my close friends to breast cancer…..and meeting with so many at the Hospital who are suffering deep emotional pain, I will carry these words and His, close to my heart. You wrote this one for me today.
    Love you big brother!

  4. Daniel Gluck says:

    David – not sure why you wrote this, but it was received as the unmistakable voice of Christ to me today. So many loud voices preaching glitz vs. values, charisma vs. integrity. I am asking God to help me be his vessel and live with integrity.

  5. Debbie Heim says:

    Thank you David, this is exactly what I needed to hear today.

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  7. Jan Neff says:

    Oh, my heart cries after reading this. Yet another of my worship leader friends got let go after 14 years. His issue – he turned 50 and has gray in his hair. He has heard nothing from the 50 resumes he has sent around the country. Seems churches only want the young to go with the lights turned down in the house and up on the stage. Glitz and glamour, that’s what will bring the people. It seems to work so many places, yet what exactly are we ‘selling?’ I hear you ask for authenticity; no, Jesus asks for it. But I’m not seeing enough of it. Tearing me up inside, asking God what I’m supposed to be doing, but getting silence. So I keep doing the small things He has for me now, and praying the Church can be the Church, ugly and raw in its authentic truth that sets us free.

    • David Timms says:

      Jan, I’ll join you in that prayer. A mentor of mine once said “What you win them with is what you win them to.” That was 30+ years ago and it still rings true. Meanwhile, let’s keep faithful in all the small ways, believing that His Spirit indeed takes little voices and makes a difference. Blessings.

  8. chuckm49 says:

    Hi David,
    Miss our face-to-face meetings. So busy with the new baby grand daughter, and life in general. I love all of your blogs, but this one is so vital to many churches and their leadership. It seems we in the church have fallen into the trap of becoming too Hollywood. The worship band must be professional and the sound system the caliber of a major concert hall. We spend money forgetting we, as church leaders need to be prudent and trustworthy with the resources God is providing. We hold meetings as though we are in the corporate board room, often praying after someone has given out the reminder. We plan and strategize as though the Holy Spirit is just a name, and that “we” are ultimately in control of our church. Egos and numbers become the priority over pastoral care and mentorship. How easy it is to forget the main thing and become self serving rather than servant leaders. May our Lord continue to bless you.
    In Christ,
    Chuck Mihlbauer

  9. Hi David,

    I haven’t responded in the comments because my work WordPress accounts get tangled up. I haven’t sorted that out yet. I do want you to know that I see these and appreciate your good work and messages.

    I hope all is well!

    Robert Cogswell
    Director of Communications

    Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
    480 South Batavia Street, Orange, CA 92868-3998
    714-633-8121 ext. 7773
    http://www.csjorange.org

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