On a Sunday afternoon as the church begins to file out of the building, heading for their cars and off to worship the rest of the week, the pastor’s kids come out to play. I didn’t grow up as a pastor’s kid, but I have four of my own. As the building empties and the cleanup begins, there is one place they love to migrate. It’s like the gravitational pull of the sun. The pastor’s kid promise land in the empty church facility is the church platform with all the instruments, cords, equipment, and the biggest prize of all: the microphone.
There is an allure to the microphone. Is it the voice amplification? Is it the measure of control? Is it the impression of dominance? Is it the chance to be at center? Whatever it is, kids love the mic. Some adults do as well. And for some, there is only one thing better than picking up a microphone: dropping it.
Dropping the mic is like playing the trump card. It is an emphatic statement of finality, a declaration of dominance, a signal that you have just spoken a word in it which clinches you the victory, wows the crowd, and closes the curtain. By dropping the mic I say, “It’s done, and I’ve done it.”
My concern here is the Christian preacher. There are preachers who aren’t Christian who speak their own words instead of God’s word. They can drop the mic, because ultimately their method and message is about themselves. But for the Christian preacher, dropping the mic isn’t an option. In fact, if you’re intent on dropping the mic, don’t pick it up in the first place.If you’re intent on dropping the mic, don’t pick it up in the first place. Click To Tweet
Here are three reasons it is unwise to drop the mic:
1. It is not your mic to drop.
Dropping the mic is a statement of ownership. I don’t mean ‘ownership’ in the sense of owning the physical microphone, but owning the message, the moment, the stage. If you’re a gospel preacher your charge is not one of ownership, it is one of stewardship. Ancient Corinth was certainly a scene where the swagger of mic dropping would have been prized. Here are some of Paul’s words to them:
For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship.
1 Corinthians 9:16-17
2. You are not the point.
Dropping the mic is an exclamation point that magnifies the mic dropper. When I drop the mic, my actions put the spotlight on ME. Like a touchdown dance or a chest-thumping gyration as I trot around the bases, a mic drop is the speaker’s equivalent of ‘Yeah I did!’ This is glorified in a culture that worships at the altar of humanistic narcissism. We have been reared from childhood on the narrative that we are the center of the universe; as if we needed any help believing that. We’re only humans after all.
The preacher of the gospel can’t stoop to this level, because the call of the gospel leads humans beyond our humanity. Again, look at Paul’s words to his carnal Corinthian brothers and sisters:
For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:4-7
Richard Baxter said it this way, “I preached as never sure to preach again, a dying man to dying men.” Preacher, you’re not the point.The call of the gospel leads humans beyond our humanity. Click To Tweet
3. The Mic-dropping focus on the messenger obscures the sender and the message.
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:1
I’m not a good golfer, but I do know that everything rises and falls with the integrity of your grip on the golf club. Your hands must be positioned rightly, and the intensity of the grip must be the right combination of tight and loose. For the preacher, the grip on the microphone is just as important. Grip it too tight and you choke God’s plan for multiplying preachers and teachers in His church. Grip it too loose and you just may drop it.
If you’ve been given the gospel, you have been given a trust and a charge. The trust is the mysteries of God; the charge is to faithfully steward the message of the gospel. This leaves no place for dropping the microphone. In fact, I’d say if you’re intent on dropping it, don’t even pick it up in the first place.