Monday, April 29, 2013
Integral Not Indispensable
"Do not think of yourself as being more important than you are."
Whenever I'm chatting with someone who's a tad too full of her/himself as I can be too often, I remind 'em as I remind myself that there's only one Messiah.
Starkly and specifically for the thick-egg-headed like me, I'll elaborate, "If I die on Monday, there will be ham and cole slaw in Fellowship Hall on Wednesday and then a pastor search committee will be elected on Sunday 'to find somebody who's better than the last one.'"
If you don't believe that's true for you as well as me, you don't need acid.
Some pastors still think size matters.
Listen to 'em.
"So, uh, how big is your church?...So, uh, how big is your attendance?...So, uh, how big is your budget?...So, uh, how big is your staff?...So, uh, how big is your total compensation?...So, uh, how big is your...?"
Some pastors think being bigger means being better.
If you don't believe that's true for you as well as them/me, just don't get caught with your pants down.
Some pastors are more Freudian than Christian in a suffering servant kinda way.
When I was a really big and important pastor of two really big churches and then one kinda big one before going to one that thought it was better which enabled/deluded me to think I really deserved bigger salaries and houses and stuff than smaller pastors in smaller churches, I'd only show up for meetings or conferences or workshops or local ministerial groups or Rotaries or prayer breakfasts or community worship services or the like if I was the featured speaker and got to sit up front with the other big and important...
I was too big/important/indispensable to waste my time listening to anyone who was smaller than me.
I was big which made me better than anyone who was smaller.
If you don't believe that's true for you as well as them/me, take a look at your community's big/important/indispensable pastors and when they grace everyone with their presence at meetings, conferences, workshops, local ministerial groups, Rotaries, prayer breakfasts, community worship services, and the like if they're not the featured speaker and sitting up front with the other big and important...
How big are you?
How big am I?
Not big enough to be considered indispensable; unless, of course, I'm/we're stoned.
BBPBHO is gonna serve out his second and then be about as important to anybody else as any peanut farmer or Bubba behind, uh, Bushes.
Dan was replaced by Katie who was replaced by...
Rush and Sean and Chris and Rachel and Brian and Jay and David and O'Reilly have shelf lives and will be replaced by...
Starr then Favre then Rodgers then...
Joe then Mickey then Derek then...
I've been doing funerals for about four decades.
I've seen deacons and elders and staff members and pastors and pillars...and wives...and husbands...replaced.
If you don't believe that, wake up and smell the roses before they're placed on your...
Are you getting depressed?
If you are, it's because you've forgotten there's only one Messiah; and He is enough.
Yeah, we're integral in a Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 kinda way; but not indispensable.
Only Jesus is indispensable.
And when we figure that/Him out, at least two wonderful things happen.
First, we do our best and leave the rest to Him in a parable of the sower kinda way.
Second, we sleep well; knowing the past, present, and future are in bigger and better hands than ours.
I've conquered the 10th commandment; except, uh, for one thing.
It has nothing to do with anything, uh, big; and He has told me to keep my mouth shut about it so He can work on it.
I don't covet anything big anymore.
I know the only size that matters is the size of His love for you, me, and everybody else in a John 3 kinda way.
While I've got too many friends who can't wait to retire because of everything seemingly going to hell in our world, country, mainline denominations, sideline facsimiles, and even District 100, I'm more excited than ever before since a week in October 2011 with Eugene and covenant brothers as Matthew 23 and Luke 11 were opened up to me in ways never taught in seminary or churches enabling such idolatries.
Besides, by His grace, we've just about completed the purging and pruning of posers on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois; and I've got lots of encouraging to do with the trickles to increasing flow of authentics or wannabe authentics coming through the doors.
We're no longer polluted by people who cannot serve unless they're leading with some sick sense of entitlement that has nothing to do with service personified by the Founder.
I figure I've got about 20 more years to go; barring cancer from Grandpa Jacob's genes or assassination.
Of course, like you, I'm not indispensable even while knowing I'm integral.
And if I die today, there will be ham and cole slaw in Fellowship Hall on...
Blessings and Love!