Journal of Applied Missiology, Volume 5, Number 2


October, 1994

Ed Mathews

There is an old Chinese story about the Emperor who wanted to hear the greatest noise in the world. The tale goes like this:

Long ago in China an old Emperor realized he was near the end of his life. He wanted to do one really outstanding thing before he died.

After much thought, he decided to have his people make the loudest noise that had ever been heard. Then he would be famous and die a happy man.

The Emperor sent messengers throughout the land, calling everyone to come at the appointed time to the capitol city. Each person was to bring a noisemaker-cymbal, bell, firecracker, drum, gunpowder, bugle, trumpet, and the like.

Millions gathered on the designated day. They assembled in a large valley. Excitement filled the air. Together they would create the loudest SHABANG the world had ever witnessed.

The Emperor arrived in his regal attire. He made his way through the crowd to the center of the valley. Upon his stately throne, he issued the instructions. The Prime Minister would raise a huge, red banner. When the Emperor nodded, the banner was dropped and everyone would make noise: bang on pots, shout, thump tubs, yell, ring bells, scream, or shoot off firecrackers!

The auspicious moment had come. Everyone was ready. The Emperor nodded. The banner fluttered to the ground. But no one made a sound. For, like the Emperor, everyone wanted to hear the biggest SHABANG. So everyone remained silent.

And so it is today. All of us want the world to be saved, but most of us fail to get involved in whatever way we can. The solution to any problem is implicit in its nature. If the world is to have peace, each nation must lay down its arms. If the church is to experience unity, each member must get along with the others. If mission is to succeed, everyone must do their part. The key is getting involved.  

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