Becoming all Things to all Men

By John Wallace

In 1 Cor. 9:22, Paul said, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Paul tried to adapt his speech, mannerisms and way of living to be more acceptable to the different races of people he taught. Any successful gospel preacher must follow Paul’s example. In fact we are admonished by Paul’s own words, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Phil. 4:9). I am convinced that many gospel preachers are not becoming all things to all men, when they go into other nations to hold gospel meetings and thus are “turning off” souls that could be won for the Master.

How would you feel if an Australian gospel preacher held a meeting for you and during the course of the meeting used only Australian facts and figures in his examples and analogies; if he did not know the name of your president, did not know how many states there are in the union, knew only the name of the one state in which he was presently preaching, made reference to only Australian history and Australian geography and Australian weather conditions and was completely unfamiliar with the United States. How many outsiders would he “turn off” because of his lack of knowledge of your country? How many would be offended by this “foreigner” who did not know or care enough to learn about the United States before he came for the meeting?

Perhaps, now you know how some Canadian outsider feels when an American preacher never uses Canadian facts and figures in his preaching examples. Time after time, meeting after meeting, preacher after preacher, I have heard it said, “I don’t know how it is in Canada, but down in our country it is this way, etc., etc.” American preacher friend, I love you and your great country, but you are not becoming a “Canadian” that you might win Canadians when you do not bone up on the knowledge of Canada before a meeting in our country so you can use appropriate examples and analogies.

To help any American preacher who is coming to Canada to preach in a gospel meeting, I will gladly send them a copy of the book, Quick Canadian Facts, The Canadian Pocket Encyclopedia-price $1.50.

Truth Magazine XIX: 56, p. 891
December 11, 1975