Elvis impersonators, preachers, and teachers of the Gospel
I have to admit, Elvis impersonators really get on my nerves. Admittedly, many of them do what they do to honor the king. After all, imitation is supposed to be the highest form of flattery isn't it? To me, most of them just come off as cheesy and clumsy imitations of the real thing. They lack authenticity. They lack substance.
Isn't it easy for preachers and teachers of the Gospel to fall into the same trap? Preaching and teaching that lacks heart and authenticity will never impress or impact a lost world. Our message has to grow out of a heart that is devoted to Christ. Personal disciplines such as prayer, bible study, and meditation are the catalysts for authentic teaching. As God changes our heart and transforms us more and more into the image of Christ, our message and ministry deepens and matures. In fact, the most powerful aspect of any sermon or teaching session isn't necessarily what is being said, but the holiness and devotion of the speaker.
I like what Paul writes in I Thessalonians 2:10, "Vs. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe."
Paul was a man of integrity. No Elvis impersonater preacher, he was real. Authentic. The genuine article. My prayer is that my ministry and the ministry of our Church would model Paul's ministry of simple devotion to Christ. I think the world will sit up and listen to the real thing.