This week’s message contained quite a few improvements to note. While I think there are still many areas for improvement, I’ll focus on the positive in this review.
The public message can be downloaded here: Christ is Supreme, Sufficient and Necessary
The messenger makes a rather successful attempt to share his own voice and to talk mainly about Christ. I find this refreshing. I also find this message somewhat difficult to review. Why? Because this messenger requested my input before sharing the message. I find it odd to hear many of my words echoed back verbatim. I was hoping for a personalization of the thoughts I had, not a tape-recording playback. Still if the words were shared with a genuine voice, this message has potential.
TITLE AND SCRIPTURE:
“Christ is Supreme, Sufficient and Necessary”
Removal of imperatives. Perhaps one of the best things about this message is that I don’t see the typical “commands to be obeyed” attitude that is prevalent in UBF messengers.
A personal voice. Sharing a current personal experience should have been moving to the audience: “Story about studying this and naming Christian (C. S. Lewis). As I meditated and was writing a reflection on this passage last June in Chicago, Susan called to report good news and bad news. The good news was we were having a son. He was growing okay and active in her wound. The bad news was that his heart was not beating as fast as it should. He could have some electrical—conduction issue.”
Personal conversion experience. The messenger shines when he speaks of Jesus’ grace of salvation to him: “What does it mean that Christ is sufficient? Sufficient for what? The primary sufficiency is seen in salvation. (talk about Jesus’ grace of salvation to me) Church camp before 6th grade, Walk to Emmaus (2001)”. This unscripted section should have given the message an approachable connecting point for the audience.
Confidence in the gospel of Jesus. It might be said that this message lacks an organized point. I’m willing to let that go due to the repeated confidence in the gospel displayed throughout the message: “NOTHING else is needed for salvation! From first to last it is only the grace of God. For some, this is scary, because we think we need some level of moral life or some level of goodness. For others, it is taken for granted, assumed and loses its wonder and fire. Many are in between or perhaps somewhere else entirely. Personally, I am saved. It is nothing but the grace of God through the blood of Jesus that I have such confidence. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will be in Heaven. I have nothing to cling to except the cross of Jesus. I can only plead His grace and mercy. This grace and mercy is amazing and incredible.”
I’m a little conflicted, mainly due to the verbatim quotes from my private critique. But all in all this is a significant change in direction in the messages from Toledo UBF. And it contains some messages we all need to be reminded of on our journey of life.