Luke 14:34 Salt isgood: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
The Christian has been called to be “salt” – or to impact the society he has been called to reach, not to simply impress. Impressing conveys the idea that one is trying to set forth a vision or picture that he wants to present to others. Impressing involves appealing to ones senses. It is not wrong by the way.
Each morning I take a shower. I comb my hair, I put on deodorant and cologne. In a way I do these things to impress. Or at least you could say to make an impression. If you think that is not so, did you ever meet someone who doesn’t shower or comb their hair or put deodorant on. They too will leave an impression but obviously, not a good one. You’ve certainly heard the phrases such as: dress to impress or first impressions are key. So we all make daily impressions. Hopefully we make good ones.
The disciples did not have a goal to impress, but to impact. They did make impressions along the way, such as in Act 4:13 where it says “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” That was obviously an impression. But in verse 4 of the same chapter we see 4,000 people who trusted Christ and their lives were changed – in this they impacted those people. That should be the goal of every believer – to impact.
What was great about the disciples in the first generation – they were all about impacting. If you go from Pentecost, to preaching, to challenging the authorities with the Gospel, to the stoning of Stephen, and on and on, they were impacting people – not impressing them.
Our generation of preachers, more than any other, invests far too much in order to impress rather than to impact. One of the biggest egos in the church can often be the Pastor – he wants to be liked (he is human). Because of his desire to be liked he has the temptation to try and please people that he ministers to. This will often produce churches built around impressing people. This results in people being entertained, being pleased, even being thrilled with strong emotional responses, but with little change or real impact.
So for all believers, pastors, and of course, churches our goal should be to impact this world with the Gospel and God’s Word. The key difference between impressing and impacting is a changed life. When a church impacts someone, they are not just moving them to an emotional response that is soo forgotten, but to live a transformed life. As believers and churches – we need to make a difference that is lasting and permanent. God has called us to be “salt.”