Yesterday we had John Waller in concert at Sherwood. John is best known for his song While I’m Waiting, which was a key song in Fireproof. John did an excellent job of communicating through music and during his “set up” for a few of the songs. One thing I like about John is he has that ability to talk without talking too much. (Singers should sing. Preachers should preach. Preachers shouldn’t sing…period.) John beautifully shares his heart and the background of a song in a concert setting.
John talked about the season in his life when he wrote While I’m Waiting. He is honest–I’m sure to him, painfully honest–but he connects with the audience. Sometimes concert talk seems to be filler for the singer to catch his or her breath and take a drink of water. This was not the case with John.
Wayne Watson has the same ability. Wayne can tell a story, cut his eyes in a certain direction, and immediately you know the guy is real. Roger Breland was a master of this when he was on the road with TRUTH. Roger could tell a story of taking TRUTH to the mission field and being in a leper hospital, and you realized these people were about more than merely making music. No one can tell a story like Roger Breland.
There’s a difference between a sermon and a message. There’s a difference between having to say something and having something to say. There’s a difference between a sermon or a song on paper and a fire in your bones.
Great preaching is an overflow of our lives. One reason Ron Dunn was such an incredible teacher of the Bible was because God used the back story in his life to mold his messages. Ron didn’t just preach an expository message, he wrestled with the text and let God wrestle with him until he had the message. Not just a message, the message.
Oh that we would have more preachers, musicians, authors, and songwriters who would take down the facades of “we’ve got it all figured out and if you were as spiritual as we are, you would too” and have a few “I’ve messed up. I’m a sinner saved by grace. I struggle, and sometimes I stumble, but God is faithful.” A little more transparency would go a long way. We’ve got bells and whistles. But we need bowed knees and wounded hearts to tell us we will survive.