See Part 1 here
Sunday morning had finally arrived. The big performance was ready and advertised all over town. Now the question of Mr. Magician’s sermon really loomed on his mind. At the same time a one Mr. Worldly Wiseman came to see the final rehearsal.
Mr. Magician: How in the world will I give my speech after such quality songs?
Popularity: We’ve got to make sure your sermon comes across with the same message as the songs. You don’t want to be too offensive and build barriers to people.
Mr. Magician: That’s wonderful and all, but my only example around here is that old Evangelist! And talk about building barriers! He tells people to travel to that yonder wicket gate! You know how treacherous that way is!
Popularity: You’ve already eliminated all those barriers; you’ve brought the gate to them! In fact, your ministry, though it leads to the same place as the Evangelist’s, is quite the opposite, don’t you think? It’s just a different method to get people to the same place! In fact, I bet you could create a sermon on how different you are from that Evangelist, and how easy it is now to enter into the King’s dominion.
Mr. Magician: You’re right! Then everyone who wants to can announce the magical phrase and be ushered into the gate for eternal bliss. They can flee destruction so easily!
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Exactly! Now, can you do something about these musicians’ ghastly appearances?
Popularity: Excellent thought, good sir.
Mr. Magician: What do you mean?
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: We want to appeal to the younger crowd; these outfits and looks simply will not do.
Mr. Magician: I though we wanted to appeal to everyone…
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Certainly, certainly! In do time… But, if we try to appeal to everyone now, we really appeal to no one. We have to pick a particular venue and population first, then we can expand from there.
Mr. Magician: I don’t understand, the Bible says to look to those society has cast aside. In James 2, the Bible condemns looking on people with high social status with favor; such as in our day the young families.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Enough of your nonsense; that’s not what we’re doing by any stretch of the imagination. Focusing on a target audience may be a smart way to begin to provide great ministry that will then help your ministry and church grow. It’s not showing favoritism or excluding people. We welcome all who choose to attend. So what is it these young people are wearing nowadays? Just flick your wand and put that on those musicians you’ve already made sound so exquisite.
Mr. Magician: I see your point, I guess.
And with a flip of his wrist, Mr. Magician changed the appearance of all the musicians on stage to exactly what would appeal to the younger families. Before some were wearing gaudy or hole-ridden clothes. Then, they were wearing clean-cut fabrics you could only find from imports.
Popularity: That’s more like it! Again, excellent work! And that’s another thing, make sure all your lead singer does is point to you in between the songs.
Mr. Magician: You mean God?
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Well, that’s what the songs are for, silly. But if you really want to make this work, you have to connect every program and ministry to the senior leader.
Popularity: Exactly my point. When you become the main focus, everyone can catch the vision you cast. And once that vision is caught, this ministry will grow like nothing else! Now, listen to this man here, he’s much wiser than I.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Indeed, I can help you grow this faster than anything you’ve ever seen. First you must decide you really want growth. If you have any doubts, God cannot bless your faith. Second, don’t think of yourself as a minister, think of yourself as a leader. Third, guilt your members into evangelizing more. Don’t try to explain entire books of the Bible just yet, remember they’re babes in the faith! Instead, focus on short passages and make it extremely understandable and convicting, but don’t forget funny! I would start with The Great Commission, and other sending passages like Isaiah 6 to really grow your ministry.
Popularity: Like I said, extremely perspicacious.
Mr. Magician: What do I do after my sermon? Just say goodbye?
Popularity: No, no–
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: By George, No! Gather your musicians back up on stage and play drone like calming tunes. This will get your audience ready for a state of hyp- uh, convincing. It will make it easier for them to feel comfortable making such a challenging decision. Then you lead them all through an invitation. Jesus did the very same thing (Matt: 11:28-30). Give them the opportunity to repeat your magical phrase after you, what was it again?
Mr. Magicain: Prosueche hamartanou
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Right, of course. And as soon as they say it, have them run through the gate! In fact, have you had people already come through the gate?
Mr. Magician: Why yes, I have.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Contact them right away. If you can get them to run through the gate first, it will make it easier for someone who is uncertain.
Popularity: Then you could potentially have over a hundred people run through on the first night!
Mr. Magician: How will I keep track of all these people?
Numbers: Ah, just give them a card to right down their name or address or whatever. A name is just fine enough. Make a copy they can keep to give them extra assurance they’ve passed through the gate.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: Numbers, you do always show up at just the right times. Indeed, if they ever doubt they are free from Destruction or any nonsense the Evangelist may tell them, you can print on the card “Ticket to the Celestial City” or perhaps “Free from Destruction” or even “Citizen in the King’s Dominion.” This will squelch any fire darts of doubt the devil will throw their way.
Mr. Magician: What all of their information needs to be on this card.
Numbers: Just a name will do. Even just a nickname. I can keep track of all the numbers from there so you will always know how many are on your roster.
Mr. Magician: What if I need to remove a name from my roster?
Numbers: Remove a name? Never! If they start acting a little crazy, just remind them they’ve already walked through the gate and shouldn’t be acting that way. We would never remove a name from the roster, I mean, unless they did something bad enough to get national attention or something…Other than that, the Great King is gracious to us all no matter what if we’ve past through the wicket gate.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman: I could not have said it any truer myself.
Mr. Magician: Thank you all so much, I could not have done it without you!