As Jesus’ followers started going around and preaching the good news, Jesus worked through them, and confirmed what they said by working miracles through them. Mark 16:20 says, “And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.”
What confirmation follows my preaching? The idea here is that the miracles established the teaching as true. So what establishes the messages I bring as true?
Here is a list of some things that I think confirm my message and most of American preaching:
1) Presentation – solid presentation helps
2) Humor – if the message has some authentic humor people seem more apt to listen
3) Creativity – don’t be dull or boring
4) Personal stories – has it impacted me already
Not on the list is “power”; the move of God through one’s life that brings about healing and revelation.
Some say that God needs to confirm His word in different ways within our culture; that miracles would actually have less convincing power than a good story, just because our society is much more critical about the miraculous. There might be something to that, but maybe that’s a cop-out? Am I contending for the power of God? The apostle Paul wrote that he did not come with eloquent speech, but he came in power.
So, will this verse, this post, actually change the way I do life and ministry? Or will I try to justify my powerless preaching? I know that this is overstated. I believe every message I preach has something of the power and presence of God in it. If it didn’t I would stop preaching. But there’s another level.
In a church, like Westside, I’m not convinced every preacher needs to work in the miraculous. But I believe our church and our messages should be known, established, and confirmed by the powerful workings of God.
So, Jesus, I’ve kind of let the cat of the bag, so to speak. It would be much easier to not look at this part of the ministry and my preaching. But I can’t shake it. What I read in your ministry and the ministry of the early church, was that your truth was accredited to us by signs and wonders. It confirmed everything you said as true. In the pluralistic society I live in, I recognize the need to have some umph behind our message that distinguishes it from all the other noise and discussions out there. Your power would give us the much needed credibility to be heard. Here is my dangerous prayer: Lord, work your power through me every time I open my mouth. Let your power be on display in my life and in my church. I won’t settle for anything less.