Things I Like, Part 5 (Preaching and Preachers)

Greg's stickman doodleThe weekend has arrived!

I wanted to remind you again that I will be sharing my life story this Sunday night at our church. It will start at 6:00 P.M. PST, so if you can come and join us in person, please do. And if you come, let me know that you are one of my “blogging buddies!”

This service will also feature a clip from a documentary film about my life, called Lost Boy. It will all be webcast as well and archived for later viewing.

I will also be speaking Sunday morning from our new series in Acts that we are calling The Upside Down Life. The title of my message this Sunday morning is “Secrets of the Early Church, Part 2.” Among other things, I really want to focus on the place of worship in the early Church and how important it is for us today.

Also, don’t forget to check out my weekend article at

Hey, some more thoughts on preaching, if you please.

God can be known.

Jesus says, “In the volume of the Book I have come!” There are many ways God could have come to us.

He could have dropped down visual images like photographs or paintings to describe what He wanted people to Know. And certainly God speak to us, to some degree, through the testimony of NATURE. After all, Psalm 19:1 tells us, ” The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.”

But God has chosen to primarily make Himself known to us through preaching. As I quoted in my last entry, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the Message Preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21)

And again, Paul’s words to Timothy were, “PREACH THE WORD . . . ”

When Paul was on Mars Hill in Athens, Greece, He could have used DRAMA to make his points. After all, drama started there in Greece. He could have had someone present the gospel in “three acts,” or have it put to music.

No, He PREACHED to them, “Men of Athens!”

Music, drama, and the arts all have their place, but they are nowhere near the importance of the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

I mentioned worship earlier, and the early Church certainly placed a premium on that. But we must be careful to not “worship” worship!

The reason I say this is because a couple of years ago, I saw one of those TV infomercials for a collection of worship songs (which I think is great). But what disturbed me about this particular commercial was that they had what seemed to be “testimonies” of people who talked about how “worship music” had gotten them through hard times in their lives, and “worship music” had done this or that for them.

Now, I know God can and will work through worship, but it is GOD who works in our lives. Perhaps that is why Martin Luther called MUSIC the “handmaiden of theology.”

Yes, worship has its place, but preaching still needs to be the priority of the Church today. I know this is true, not only because the Bible says it is, but also from personal experience.

I have had the privilege of teaching for 35 years in many places, ranging from great stadiums and arenas to small home Bible studies. I can tell you that it is God’s Word preached that touches lives.

If Greg was a SimpsonTrust me when I say the last thing I ever wanted to become was A PREACHER. I was a cartoonist, a graphic designer. This was all I ever wanted to do. I was never a speaker in school; in fact, I dreaded speaking publicly.

But the first time I did it, I saw the power of God at work. My life was touched by the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, and I still am. Like I said before, I am a preaching junkie, and I listen to it all the time to it.

The arts have their place. Thank God for Christian musicians, designers, tech people, and all the rest. I love the arts and people who are gifted in this way. I count myself as one of them.

But one thing will never change: “It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

Here is an example of that from an e-mail I recently received:

Dear Pastor Greg, Once again I just want to let you know how thankful I am for your program A New Beginning. I considered myself a lost sinner. I lived my life with regards to no one. Till one day in a prison cell in Chowchilla CA, I heard your message on A New Beginning and I prayed with you at the end of your message and for the next 3 years that I spent there I listen to you everyday. From that day on, even know I was inside a gigantic prison wall I felt free and I felt secure and protected by the LORD especially on those extremely hard days that I went through. Accepting the LORD was the best thing I ever did in my life. Thank you Pastor Greg for all of your support and prayers. May the GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST be with you and your listeners.

Thank you. Sincerely, Juliana.


That, folks, is why I do what I do.


6 thoughts on “Things I Like, Part 5 (Preaching and Preachers)”

  1. Levi says:

    Tonights service was truly awesome, hearing your story from a to z truly put God’s work on display. Thanks for being vulnerable enough to tell the good, bad and the ugly. Like the book of Esther, God seemed absent all through out until at the end you see what He had in store…a masterpiece! God had in mind the millions of “lost boys and girls” He wanted to touch through you. It was inspiring and especially awesome to see how many responded to the invitation.


  2. Greg says:

    Good question, William.

    Remember, the book of Acts is a record of the work of the Holy Spirit over a 30 year period, so it’s not like there was necessarily a miracle every day.

    God is the one who sovereignly chooses to do what He wants where He wants to do it. I believe that miracles and the gifts of the spirit are for today, and I think they happen more often then we may realize.

    That would be a good topic for a future post.

  3. William says:

    Hello, Mr. Laurie. I visited Harvest for the first time today and heard your message “Secrets of the Early Church, Part 2.” It was interesting. Something which I missed in your sermon was concerning the ways that God used the early disciples in performing healings, miracles, words of knowledge, etc… Why isn’t the Lord doing those things in our churches? Is there something wrong in/with our churches?

  4. Susan says:

    Amen Pastor Greg!! I’ve always been a performer of sorts. I love to sing. But the first time the Lord had me speak infront of 45 youth. part of my life testimony…I was like..uhhh….can’t I just sing it? Much easier then speaking. Speaking exposes you. So does singing… but the two are totaly not the same. Wow but was it worth every word! The alter was full after… I’ve made some strong conections to the youth of my church. Hey! I only had to open my mouth and speak! The Lord did the rest! It was great!
    I will keep on speaking… the Lord is leading!
    God Bless,
    Susan P.

  5. clara says:

    Dear Pastor Greg,
    God is so gracious. We has christians know Him has sovereign, the all sufficient One. Yet He calls the Gregs’, the Billy Grahams, the Stanley’s , the Spugegons and oh yea the Melloni’s, to name a few… to be walking epistles that follow after His teachings and to share with all who will listen to His truth. How humbling is that?
    I mention this because I have been reading your blog site, especially the upcoming dates listed for your LOST BOY testimony and I am so looking forward to the lives that will be touched because of your boldness in Christ and your transparency as a Pastor/Preacher. Praise God.
    The bible tells us in Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…
    My prayer is that every lost boy and girl,man and women who hears, reads or sees your story will be transformed by the power of God living in you because of the cross Christ died on to bring eternal life.
    My fleshly mother’s heart cries for my own son, however, in faith I believe that the Holy Spirit will bring him into the fold, it’s only a matter of time…His time. In Jesus Name. Amen.
    Thank you for your steadfastness to obey in serving our Lord Jesus.
    Preach to reach !

    Gripped in His grace,
    Clara Melloni

  6. Rob says:

    Pastor Greg,
    Thank you for being an obedient and faithful servant, and using the gifts wisely, in order to bring honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!! I have been going through a very discouraging period with a large church that, in my discernment, has begun to fall into a compromising direction. I have sought and received wise/biblical counsel from many of your pastors, and I greatly appreciated it. The one standing Truth, however, is God’s word, and then prayer! This has given me peace, has taken away my disappointment and has led me to deeper revelations of our Lord. I am grateful to have your church, your webcasts and your ongoing wisdom to suplement my walk. Thank you!

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