Category Archives: Leadership

Something Unexplainable

Again I beg the forgiveness of those of you who look forward to these “deep thoughts” from a very shallow mind.  It seems as though my to-do list in life continually gets longer, while the number of things that I am checking off of that list seems to become fewer and fewer.  But enough about my schedule as I know that your schedule is at least as hectic as mine.  One of the things that I most enjoy is reading.  But I don’t simply like to read for reading’s sake.  I like to have a purpose in reading.  Right now our church staff is reading through Transformational Church together.  As I was reading through the first chapter of the this book, I wrote literally two pages of notes.  I want to take a moment to concentrate on an idea from this text.

The idea is simple and is found on page 20, “When God rebuilds His house, people will know undeniably that it is a work of God.”  You do not have to look far to see the doomsdayers effectively proclaiming an end to the Church.  While it is only foolish to deny the waning influence of the Church in the United States, it would be just as foolish to assume that the Church functions just like a business or other organization.  If Scripture is true – and if you know me then you know that is given – then the Church is not an organization it is an organism.  The Church is a living, breathing, conglomeration of individual believers who are held together by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Why in the world am I chasing a theological rabbit trail?  The answer is simple.  God has not abandoned the Church.  Though one could ask if the reverse of that statement is true.  Has the Church become so enthralled with her past successes that she has forgotten that the 1950’s ended over 50 years ago?  Has the Church become so enamored by new techniques, technologies, and ideologies that she has forgotten that her roots lie in the work of God and not the work of management and marketing gurus?  Has the Church focused so much on entertaining and attracting that she has forgotten that her commission was going and transforming?  If we want to be honest with ourselves, we know that the answer to each of these questions is a definitive “YES!”  But rather than simply beating the church like Bam-Bam Rubble (see the Flintstone Cartoons) at a Whack-a-Mole game, is it not more profitable to set all of our agendas, ideologies, practicalities, and junk aside and turn back to Scripture and the God that it reveals?  To be certain, we have walked a long way from the ideal Church that the Book of Acts records.  Yet, despite our wanderings, God has not changed.  He will forgive.  He will revive.  He will refocus.  He will renew His Church – if His Church will allow Him to do so.  Will the transformation be incredible?  Absolutely.  Will there be those who grip and complain about refocusing back on Scripture?  Absolutely.  Will the result be worth the cost?  Absolutely!!!  You see, we got ourselves into this mess.  Now only God can get us out of it.  So when He forgives, revives, refocuses, and rebuilds His Church – there will be only one explanation God has done something unexplainable.

Advertisements

A Herd of Squirrels in a Nut Farm

I know that it may come as a bit of a surprise to some of you, but I can be an extremely competitive person.  Fortunately, over the years God has mellowed me.  Yet, this past Saturday morning I felt the beast rise again.  My oldest daughter, Micaela, is in kindergarten and is playing her first year of Upward Basketball.  Now for you to really grasp the gravity of this situation you must know that I am an incredible basketball fanatic.  I can even watch those crazy European leagues with the trapezoid shaped lanes.  So here I am watching my daughter experience her first tastes of pseudo-competitive basketball, and I discover my blood pressure rising.  Understand I am not mad or frustrated with her, but I want to go out and show her how things should be done, where she should be, what she should be doing, etc.  While my mind is running on the question of how can I teach her to become better, the minds of the kids (my daughter included) is simply on having fun.  Mentally, I was coaching up a team.  The reality was that I should have been laughing my head off since all the kids were running around like a herd of squirrels in a nut farm. 

John Piper writes in his classic book, Desiring God, that our purpose is to enjoy God forever.  The older I get the more I am convinced that Piper may not be far off.  You see, I believe that we all do much the same thing as I was trying to do with my daughter.  She was simply enjoying the fun of being able to run around and chase a ball with friends.  She had not desire to understand the finer points of the game.  She had no desire to be best basketball player in the gym.  She simply wanted to have fun.  I wonder how our lives might be different if we lived our lives with the simple focus of enjoying our relationship with Jesus instead of focusing on all the fine points of theology, all the lists of what we should and shouldn’t be doing, and all the things we think others expect of us.  To be sure, we need to know theology.  We need to live out our faith.  But what would happen if we did so not out of a fear of what others might think but simply because we were enjoying our relationship with Jesus.  What if we spent time in prayer, not because we know we should, but because we simply enjoy being in God’s presence.  What if we told others about Jesus, not because the pastor told us to, but because we simply cannot help but talk about the One who loves us so much.  What if we do what we do out of a love for Jesus rather than out of obligation.  How would our lives change?  How would our churches change?  How would our worship change?  Imagine that, a simple purpose to enjoy God forever.  Sounds a lot better than any substitute.  Sounds a lot like what we will do in heaven for all eternity.  Sounds a lot like what we should be about.