One thing missing from your ministry

Tullian Tchividjian tells a story that’s stuck with me the past few days:

I remember being at a conference years ago when, during the panel discussion between the various speakers, one of the speakers (an editor of a conservative political-theological magazine) was expressing his frustration with many of the political “left-wingers” in an unnecessarily sarcastic and condescending way. When he was finished, John Piper (one of the other speakers sitting on the panel) spoke up and said to the man with the utmost seriousness and precision, “For a long time I have appreciated your ministry. You are an astute observer of our culture. I read your magazine every month. It’s always insightful. But there’s one thing missing from your ministry.” The other speaker looked at Dr. Piper and asked what it was. Piper looked at the man dead in the eyes and in front of 5,000 people said, “Tears!”

Whether criticizing the church, or whether criticizing a Christian musician who was come out of the closet, or anyone, really – we could benefit from a few tears. Knowing myself as I do, it’s hard to feel any sense of superiority to anyone else. That means that while I may have serious disagreements with others, and may communicate this in the strongest possible terms, I am not to project myself as better than them. When you realize that you, like Paul, are the chief of sinners, that colors the way you communicate to others. You can still express disagreement, but there are times in which we also need to say, “I am a worse sinner than you are.”

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada