We Need More Driven Preachers
The more I think about the subject of driving people the more I realize how we badly have missed the boat regarding this. In every other area of life we taut and praise the people who are driven and do drive others for a cause.
We celebrate a coach who drives his team to victory, but criticize the pastor who drives his church to reach their city for Christ. We praise the teacher who drives her students to study harder to get good grades, yet slander the pastor who drives his people to fulfill the great commission as they are commanded to do. We rejoice over the parent who drives their child to practice their musical instruments so that they can become accomplished musicians, but we demonize the pastor who drives his people to give more to God.
Let me ask you a question. Is winning the lost less important than winning the national championship? Tell me why Nick Saban can drive his Alabama football team to win and we love it, but we criticize the preacher for driving his people.
Let me talk to you about one of the most driven leaders of all time.
He told a man to leave his home and everything he knew and then drove that man to a faraway place where he would face more battles, more challenges, and more dangers than he would have ever known had he stayed at home. He even drove the man to the verge of taking the life of his own son. He drove him and drove him and drove him.
Who was this who drove such a man? Well, it was God who drove Abraham to accomplish God’s purpose in his life. The sacrifices God drove Abraham to make are astounding.
He drove Noah, to build an ark and to find every species of animal and take a male and female of each one and put them in the ark. And let us not forget the limits to which he drove Joseph while preparing him to save his family.
And what about Moses whom God drove to the very limit of his abilities? He put him in the desert for forty years preparing him for the strenuous task of leading his people for forty more years in the wilderness. It was God who drove Moses to the very edge of death before parting the waters for him. He took him into a mountain and drove him to take the law back to the people and institute it to them.
It was God who drove Joshua to fight the battles at Jericho. It was God who drove Samson to fight the battles against the Philistines. It was God who drove David to fight the enemies of God, while fleeing for his own life time and time again. It was God who drove Daniel and the three Hebrew children to the brink of death for their faith. It was God who drove his prophets to cry out the truth to a pagan world. It was God who drove Jonah to Ninevah to preach the great revival there. Over and over again we see God driving his people to amazing sacrifice for the cause.
“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mocking and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
Yes, God drove all of these to go beyond themselves and do more than any of them believed they could do. Isn’t that what God does? He drives us to become better. He drives us to accomplish a greater purpose. He drives us to accomplish something greater than we ever could have without him. We have a God who drives us.
It was the same with Christ, who drove eleven men beyond what they ever could have done. He drove them to leave their occupations. He drove them to leave their families. He drove them to follow him, forsaking all else. He drove them to deal with crowds of thousands of people as he taught them. He drove them to the brink of fear and exhaustion. He drove them into storms where their faith would be tested. He drove them to go into cities where they would preach the gospel to a world that did not believe. He drove those men to eventually all give their own lives.
And then Jesus drove a small band of Christians to reach the entire world. Jesus did not say, “Go invite your neighbor to church and let’s hope they get saved.” He drove them to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” He drove them to an upper room where they prayed until the Holy Spirit came and indwelt them.
How hard did he drive them? He drove them so hard that, “daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” They were driven beyond their abilities. They were driven beyond their strength. They were driven beyond their power. They were driven because the cause was big. They were driven to great sacrifice and great persecution. He drove a deacon named Stephen to the point where he was stoned.
Our problem today is not that we have leaders who drive their people. Our problem is we have too few leaders who are driven enough to drive their people. Show me a driven man and I will show you a man who drives his people. Show me a lazy man and I will show you a man who criticizes those who are driven.
These driven men are always ostracized by complacent men. Driven men always have their motives judged. But, at the end of the day it is the driven man who drives others to do and accomplish more than they could have done without him.
It was a Coystal Mattie Hyles that drove her young son to live a holy and separated life who become a preacher who would influence millions for Christ. It is driven people who drive others to do greater things. Jack Hyles drove others to do more for God and to reach their cities for Christ. He drove me to be a driven man and I drove others to do more for Christ.
I want to thank those who credit me with driving my people. I realize that to you it’s a cute little way of slapping me, but I accept it as a compliment. I did drive my people, but the altars were filled with converts then. The baptistry waters were stirred for scores of souls then. Soul winning was the main thing then. Daily and in every house we ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ then.
I am not patting Bob Gray, Sr. on the back. I am stating a fact that when a man of God is driven for the cause he drives others to do greater things than they otherwise would have done.
So, I challenge more men of God to drive your people. Drive them to be holier. Drive them to be more passionate about winning the lost. Drive them to sacrifice more for Christ and his cause. Drive them to build greater churches. Drive them to build bus routes that reach children who no one else cares about. Drive married men to leave the security of their job and surrender to the ministry.
We have too many laymen who have not been driven and they are losing their zeal. We have men that have been with us too long and need to surrender and go out and start a church in your Judea. Drive them preacher. Drive them for the sake of Christ.
Oh that God would raise up a driven generation, but it will only happen when there are more driven men of God who are willing to drive their people to do more.
God help us to see this cause bigger than a college football team, bigger than a musical instrument, bigger than a business, bigger than a good report card and bigger than any other cause. God help us to see this as the biggest business in the world.
It is an eternal cause, so let us be driven men who drive others to do greater things for God. Perhaps I wouldn’t mind that my critics opinion of me be the epitaph on my tombstone, “Here lies Bob Gray, Sr., Driver of Men for the cause of Christ.”