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Preaching won't workShow, don’t tell anymore.

In a Christian, word based church culture we can get seduced by the transformative power of the word to the point where we think that it’s the word that will also get people’s attention. But this is not, was not, and will never be the case.

The word is a/the change agent, but it is not the attention agent. And attention always has and always will precede change. God’s attention agent has been historically and will continue to be miracles!

We have to demonstrate the power of God before it will be received. That’s why Jesus came doing signs and wonders, so that the people would listen to what he had to say. And that’s why the Holy Spirit released signs following the word, so that people would believe it. And that’s why when raising rebellious children we need to stop depending on the logic of the word to produce change in their lives.

Just telling them what to do and telling them why they need to do it won’t get them to do it. They need a sign. They’re not seeking after a sign, but they need one. They need a demonstration of power before they will submit to the power.

When our son expressed, via his behavior, that he no longer wanted to do his chores no amount of reasoning, cajoling, or threatening could make him change his mind. So we stopped setting a place for him at the dinner table and removed the TV’s remote control to our bedroom. When he finally asked, “Why?” we told him, “Only those who participate in the operation of the household can enjoy the benefits of the household.”

He needed the gentle signs of lost control over television viewing and having to get his own food to eat alone to arrest his attention so he could hear the connection between household participation and household benefits clearly.

God will tell you what demonstration is necessary in your particular situation and will move you to release it. He will work it through you once you accept that it has to come before the power of the word will take effect.

I know it goes against everything you’ve been conditioned to believe in church: the word, the word, the word, they need the word. Yes, they need the word, but before they can be ready for the word they need the demonstration of the power of that word to grab their attention.

Stop trying to grab their attention with the word (by yelling, and cursing, and threatening), it wasn’t designed to do that. Miracles were. Signs. Wonders. Show them something! Then you can tell them anything!

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