I have many pet peeves with “christianeze” or Christian slogans meant to erase untruths by introducing more untruths.
One of these phrase really drives me nuts. It is when people say to leaders in the church:
“remember…this is for an audience of One”
Let me clarify here that I know what people are trying to say. They are basically reminding the leader that we do everything for God and only His opinion matters. It is the concept that even if there is nobody in church on sunday that we should still worship the King.
The problem is we are taking a flawed phrase to express this and creating an even worse mantra for the church to spout off.
As leaders and even as Christians in general we are should be doing all we do for God, but there is a much larger audience than one.
The entire Body is an audience
Our community is an audience
The lost are an audience
1 Corinthians 14:13–19
“13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider2 say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
This text is discussing the “gifts of the spirit”, but also tackles prayer as well. Paul basically says that if you are going to say something outloud that your “audience” has grown to those around you and then what you say should be clear. The gifts of the Holy spirit have been given to us for the edification of the Body. What that means is yes we bless the Lord, but it is meant to bless the church as well with clarity.
This same thing holds true for our walk. We are always leading. We either lead others to Christ or away from Christ. Because of this our walk ALWAYS has an audience.
1 Corinthians 13
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
What this is basically saying is: It doesn’t matter how great of a preacher, worship leader, mother, school teacher etc… you are. If you don’t love others you are not doing what you should be for your God.
In Matthew 25 it speaks of the separation of the sheep and the goats. in the message it says:
“Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’
“Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’”
Are we so stuck on our Audience of one that we can’t even see those in need right in front of us?
Are we so stuck on our Audience of one that we are not aware that others are watching us and forming their opinions about God based on our actions?
Are we so stuck on our Audience of one that the LAW in our hearts outweighs the grace we give out?
I am currently reading “Day of War” by Cliff Graham. It is the story of David and his mighty men. This book is amazing, inspiring and convicting. I think it is important to remember to worship our KING and that we need to be listening to the Holy Spirit for more awareness in the rest of the “audience” watching us every day. This quote struck a chord with me when thinking about this mentality as leader showing that our “audience” needs us to LOVE lest we become a clanging GONG.
“Men don’t follow speeches, Eliam. David gave terrific speeches, but his men followed him because they loved him. Speeches don’t make you stab a man in the guts or slice through his neck while his blood sprays over you. If you ever lead troops, remember that. Be there with them. Suffer with them. Bleed with them. Then they will follow you.”