The first time I went to the circus, it was incredible. The lions, tigers, and elephants captured my attention. And then there were the clowns, trapeze artists, and even the performing poodles. It was just too much for a youngster to take in.
But the one person who captured my attention the most was the ringmaster. In the middle of the three-rings of excitement, stood one man who directed it all. He didn’t wear the make-up of the clown or ride the elephants. No. His job was to introduce the attractions.
People didn’t come to see the ringmaster. He did have major responsibilities, but he was not the attraction. He was just the introducer of the talented and skilled performers.
When you attend a concert featuring a world-class orchestra, the foremost reason to attend is typically not to see the conductor. Indeed, he usually stands with his back to the audience because the orchestra is the focus. Like the ringmaster, the conductor has major responsibilities, but is not the main reason the people came.
When I went to college, I was often asked to serve as the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for school events. For multiple years, I introduced the Homecoming court, special assemblies, banquets, etc. In my sophomore year, I was asked to serve as MC of the touring college choir, as well as introducing smaller groups and events.
After graduation, while serving on staff in a church in Milwaukee, I was asked to MC the city-wide Jesus Rallies. These events drew up to 10,000 attendees. It was my honor to introduce noted speakers like Maria Von Trapp, Pat and Shirley Boone, Corrie Ten Boom, Pat Robertson, and Chaplain Bob Harrington.
In our monthly church Jesus Music Concerts, I introduced recording artists like Andre Crouch, Barry McGuire, Petra, Honeytree, Danny Lee, Dallas Holm, the Archers, Randy Matthews, and the Spurlows. On other occasions, I have introduced Dino, Phil Driscoll, Kelly Willard, Judson Cornwall, C.M. Ward, evangelists, missionaries, and more. For a while, I even served as host on the DFW TBN station.
But I was never confused. The people came to hear the artist, not me. I was just the introducer. My role has been to help the audience to welcome the guest. It was not about me. It was about the message the guests were invited to present. Period.
Understanding your role in life is critical. If the conductor or the ringmaster tries to become the focus of the event, it ruins everything. As a pastor, my main responsibility was to introduce Jesus to the congregation. In my sermons and Bible studies, Jesus was the special guest, and main topic. It was vital that I did not detract from the Lord. Not in dress, illustrations, personal comments, or antics.
Could it be that some current “introducers” have lost their way? Have some “introducers” placed excellence and performance ahead of Jesus? Is it possible for the “introducer” to steal the focus that rightfully belongs to Christ? Shame!
One of the great “introducers” in the Bible was John the Baptist. John knew fame. When he preached, God moved and people repented of their sins. But when Jesus came, John stepped back and plainly stated, “I am not the Christ” (John 3:28). He totally understood his role and clarified it beautifully in John 3:30, “[Jesus} must increase, but I must decrease.”
And do you know what? None of us have a higher calling than “introducer.”