Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random Rants

To some people and for some reason, pastoral ministry is a glowing, naive, dreamy life idealized as hours of Bible reading, prayer walks with Jesus, and days spent singing worship songs and smiling. But being a pastor often times is the spiritual equivalent of being clubbed while running a gauntlet.

A church rises and falls on its leadership. You can talk about all the others ministries of the church until the cows come in, but nothing really gets going until you have the right people in the right leadership positions.

Let me give you an idea. Recently in our church, in one weeks time, a man had surgery for a tumor on his spine, another man died leaving his grieving family behind. Still another family has had to call in hospice for their ailing father. Another family is about to remove life-support from their mother. Still another man in our church family was told he has 4-6 months to live. All these families are reeling and hurting. Should I preach on the goat in the book of Leviticus for deeper understanding, or should I preach on some other topic that’s more relevant that might help these people with their pain?

If you are big and bad enough to go out and start your own work, please do so. Perhaps God’s blessing will be upon your efforts. If He has called you to do so, it will succeed. But if you are a behind-the-scenes sheep-stealer you will get what you deserve. Be honorable. Do it the right way.

Some churches view themselves as the "technicians of God’s Word" who preserve the truth while the rest of us mere mortals have a watered-down gospel. While they often do a good work, I don't think they realize the creepy vibes they give off. It’s cold, unemotional, and indifferent – and doesn’t feel like the warmth usually associated with the message of grace.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But until you have shouldered the responsibility of making decisions at the senior-levels of an organization, you have the luxury of being shielded from the consequence of your opinions. Real leaders don’t just mouth opinions… they make decisions… and live with the consequences.