Any tourist who has used the British rail system will of course remember the expression, “Mind the Gap.” It refers to that distance between the edge of the platform and the train. The warning reminds those boarding to be aware that there is a gap between the platform and the train.
“Mind the Gap” in our Gospel Preaching
“Mind the gap” is a valuable concept, alerting all who lead the people of God that, at times, there is a gap between the listeners and those handling the Word of God. Our brother Dennis O’Hare in his article, “The Uphill Battle,” reminds us that the evangelist must always question himself to be sure he is communicating the gospel in a manner that those listening can comprehend.
“Mind the Gap” in Teaching
Articles by three esteemed writers appear in our magazine this month touching on the truth of the Spirit of God residing and empowering in the local assembly. These articles remind us of the holiness of character and the healthiness of teaching and activity which should ensue from the Spirit’s presence. Is there at times a gap between the provision which the Spirit of God has given and the reality of the ministry and spiritual food which the assembly is receiving? It demands time and energy on the part of those to whom this responsibility has fallen, if the assembly is to be fed from the Word of God. If there are some who have a desire to be of
help to the assembly, yet are not sure of how to go about studying the Scriptures, there is a helpful article by our brother Lloyd Cain on how to study the Word of God.
Care is needed in teaching the Word of God and shepherding the people of God. There is a tendency for those who are older to assume a certain level of knowledge on the part of those who are younger. While this confidence is commendable, at times there is not the corresponding reality. The result is that ministry is not appreciated. Also, while doctrine and devotional ministry is vital and foundational, even the Apostle Paul always linked it with practical teaching. Let us always strive to make the Word of God relevant to the lives of the people of God.
“Mind the Gap” in our Testimonies
James reminds us in his brief but pointed epistle that there is a great danger in teaching the Word of God. All who lead the assembly must remember that practice must be consistent with preaching. Tragically, we have a tendency to see farther than our feet have ever traveled. The “gap” between our teaching and our testimonies only weakens our message.
The article on the “Y2K” problem is also pertinent here. Whatever the reader’s own personal view of the magnitude or lack of same concerning the problem, the writer’s point is well taken: we must be sure that our reaction to events is not detracting from our testimonies. There should be no “gap” between our witness to the world and our response to the emergencies of life.
We trust that this issue of Truth and Tidings will prove to be a spiritual blessing to all our readers.