A colleague who is hardly a confessional/pastoral peer chastised me for spending too much time visiting folks in hospitals, nursing homes, and always finding time for anybody about almost anything that's burdening/bothering/buggin' 'em: "Don't you have better things to do?"
So I asked what he does; and he talked about attending a plethora of parochial, ecumenical, and community meetings that keep him from doing what I do.
I asked him to list the accomplishments of all of those meetings.
I asked him how His kingdom has been advanced by all of those meetings.
I asked if he could accomplish about as much as he's accomplished by going to less meetings and making more time for people who are burdened/bothered/bugged.
I returned the favor of his chastisement by paraphrasing Moody's retort to a mainliner who criticized his way of doing evangelism: "I prefer the way I do it to the way you don't do it."
While I don't spend as much time in the Bible as I'd prefer, I've spent enough time in it to know ministry at His best is more about people/ministry than process/meetings.
That brings the last great president of PTS and the WARC to mind.
If you can't figure out the acrostics, don't be upset because they're as irrelevant to life and ministry as they've become.
Be that as it's turned down, he'd often introduce speakers who he didn't really like this way: "I have always been impressed by ___ and his accomplishments have been noteworthy."
I think of one of his favorite professors who scared the hell out of us who I tried to brown-nose: "Dr. ___, isn't it exciting that ___ is going to be guest lecturing next month?"
I was referring to one of those German guys who wrote extraordinarily complicated essays/books/whatevers that everybody bought, rarely read, and even more rarely understood.
Dr. ___ retorted, "If you took all of his writings and placed them on my desk, you'd have the biggest pile of ___ on campus."
That president and professor were gems amid the academic/ecclesiastical fiberglass.
That brings a meeting with Advance Illinois to mind (4/23/09).
It's a great organization dedicated to, uh, advancing public education in, uh, Illinois.
We, uh, met last week.
I'm not sure why I was invited.
When asked, I said, "I don't know why you want me to come. I'm just a pastor and nobody pays attention to pastors anymore; especially for public stuff. I'm a professor of homiletics and talk about Jesus and stuff like Him; which isn't really a part of our public conversations anymore. Besides, what's-his-name keeps saying we're no longer a Christian nation; so I'm kinda out of the loop. I'm a police chaplain; but that mostly involves homicides and suicides. Of course, I am president of a junior tackle football league and spend lots of time keeping parents and coaches and cheer squads from killing each other. So maybe I should come. You tell me."
It was a great meeting reviewing lots of awful statistics about the status of public education in Illinois and across the country. You can check out all of the bad news by going to www.advanceillinois.org.
Anyway, I was really, really, really encouraged by the local superintendent, principals, teachers, school board members in attendance, and so on. They were passionate, caring, and competent.
Unfortunately, a union person said she was "offended" because after I extolled the role of public education in the socioeconomic strength of America by virtue of affording equal access without respect to color, class, or culture, I said it might not be a bad idea to take some time to assess the causes of the problems because the causes sometimes betray the cures. I added that being defensive about corporate culpabilities will not, uh, advance public education.
I almost referred to 1 John 1:5-10; but, well, uh, you can go back to my response to the invitation in the fifth sentence/paragraph of this section.
She was very, very, very defensive which was a big clue; if you know what I mean.
Actually, she was a little rude; even after I apologized for offending her.
I like her; but that's because I don't need to agree with people to like 'em.
I am out of the loop.
Speaking of lessons learned, an elder and I went just south of Green Bay on Saturday (4/25/09) to visit another elder who is in a nursing home.
We had a great time, sat at the holy table together, prayed, and pledged to return later in the summer.
We rode our mules.
The first just less than four hours were great; leaving at 4:00 a.m., roaring through Milwaukee, and arriving before breakfast.
The last seven hours were, uh, an adventure: rain, monsoon, hail, wind, sleet, and people riding around in cages who flunked the course on common courtesies.
We decided that we're going to start a MC club with cuts sporting "Rainmakers" patches.
We felt so...alive!!!
If you have to ask, you go to too many meetings.
Blessings and Love!
Go to www.koppdisclosure.com for neat stuff by Kathie and Julie!
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