Don’t Bury the Lead; Preach the Gospel

There is an old adage in journalism that tells writers, “don’t bury the lead.” This refers to placing the most important and attention grabbing elements of a story in the body of an article instead of at the beginning where they belong. As a result, the reader loses interest because no one wants to read through secondary points of information to eventually get to the main point.

I’m learning that this principle should also hold true in our lives and in the ministry of our churches. Far too often we bury the lead in our communication and present people with things that aren’t of utmost importance to either them or us with the result that we waste their time and lose their interest.

In our daily interactions with the people around us, we often spend so much time talking about the weather, the game, or last night’s episode of (fill in the blank) that we never get to what really matters. If all that your coworkers or classmates know about you after weeks, months, or even years of being around you is your ideal outside temperature, you have buried the lead.

In the church, it feels like we often bury the lead when it comes to the most important thing we have to communicate: the gospel. We have the most compelling story available on planet earth. Yet we often hide it beneath a mound of secondary matters that don’t really matter in comparison. Pastors, God’s design for sex is not the most interesting and attention grabbing thing you have to say. God’s plan for parenting is not the most pressing issue of our day. The bold, unashamed, and fresh proclamation of the gospel is. If you are so busy preaching about what people should do that you don’t have time to preach about what Christ has done, you have buried the lead.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that small talk shouldn’t be a part of our conversations. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give people a vision for the full life Christ has come to give us by applying biblical principles.

But I am saying that there should never be a question in people’s minds about what matters most to us-and therefore to them.

Read more from Steven here.

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Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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