The Expository Files


The BBQ Preacher

Did I ever tell you about the preacher – can’t call his name – who had a big BBQ at his place? It became a powerful object lesson.

On a Thursday night he had a big BBQ at his house and invited everybody in the church. Immediately when the invitations went out, he got a good response. People called and said, “what can I bring?” Some called and said, “can I bring a relative or friend?” People called wanting directions. And when the time came on that Thursday night, everybody was there – on time – excited . . . hungry, helpful. It was an occasion of some kind of joy.

The preacher called on someone to thank God for the food and folks lined up with their empty plates, ate with enthusiasm, came back for seconds … cherry cobbler and ice cream toped it off. But the party wasn’t over.

The preacher wanted to say something. He brought everybody together (the kids were brought under control) and everybody expected the preacher to say something like, “We thank you all for coming and hope you had a great time.”

He said a little more than that. You see, there were over 50 people at this Thursday night BBQ.

The preacher said to the crowd – “We thank you all for coming and hope you had a great time….”

“I just want to know where all of you were last night at Wednesday night Bible study! We had 18 present!!” SILENCE. And you could see a few heads falling.

The BBQ Preacher wasn’t finished. He began to put people on the spot. He said to one of the brethren who still had BBQ sauce all over his shirt, “We missed you at Bible study last night. We had much more valuable food than what we had tonight.”

He turned to a young couple and said, “Last night, we hoped we would see you at Bible Study; we feasted on God’s Word. And we had a Bible class ready for your children.”

He paused a long while to let them “digest” all this. He said to the people: “If you can assemble for BBQ, why can’t you assemble to worship God and study His Word??” By this time, some were in tears and shame. They knew the problem. There was no answer.

Several went home with a belly ache, but the BBQ preacher promoted people to re-examine their priorities.

By Warren E. Berkley 
The Final Page
From Expository Files 16.12; December 2009