Yesterday another pastor called and wanted to know if they could borrow our portable projector. They are picking it up today. There are a couple of things I need to explain to them. There’s the VGA cable that goes in a certain place on the projector and runs to their laptop. There’s the audio cable that goes from a certain place on their laptop to a particular place on their sound system. And they have to have speakers hooked up to their sound system.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but if I just sent someone who had never hooked one up before on their way with the projector, chances are they would not be able to hook it up without help. Some people may even think the sound comes from the projector, not realizing they need some sort of additional speaker(s).
I could write it out in detail explaining how to do it and what is needed, and someone may or may not figure it out. But if I show them, the odds of getting it right are much greater. If I have my laptop and my sound board and show them where this wire goes and where that wire goes, they will take the projector with more confidence that they will be able to figure it out with their equipment.
Many of you know where I’m going with this. This is a modern day parable about the difference in telling people about what they need to do to follow Jesus verses showing (and telling) people what they need to do to be a follower of Jesus. There are quite a few people in every church who can tell a non-Christian what it means to be a follower of Jesus. They have been in church enough that they have heard what is required and they see it exhibited in the lives of others in church. There far fewer folk who are in the pews on Sunday mornings who go out and show people throughout the week (with their lives) what it means to be a follower of Jesus. And like the wiring for the projector, sound board, and laptop, it’s really not as complicated as it sounds. If we show them, they will understand it better.