The last few weeks I’ve done a lot of reflections as we just finished up a series at church on Nehemiah (check it out if you’re interested Change Your World in 52 Days www.h2ochurch.cc) We dug into what breaks our heart, how we can impact the world with our passion, understanding people will attack when we’re onto a good thing and not allowing the enemy to distract us from our God appointed mission. This topic comes just a month or so after the anniversary of my answering the call to the ministry a couple years ago. So, that has spurred some serious reflection and questions and self evaluation of what I’ve been doing for His kingdom.
My passion and what breaks my heart is people hurt by our churches! If you’ve followed me on this blog very much you know this. Those held in bondage by the rules and have never felt the emersion of grace, those who didn’t dress “good enough” for church and someone actually said something, those who sinned and their church severed ties with them, my “etc’s” could go on forever. I have a broken heart for these people, I will cry with these people, I’ll fight for these people!
But then there’s a side of me that tries to pull me away from this passion. It's this human part of me that is flawed and sinful. It's this side of me that hears the outside voices of the world and contradictory religious people. Those that say, “You’re not doing enough!” A side that says, “All this effort can’t make a difference, there too much!” Words of, “You’re not qualified. You’re just an ordinary guy with no “formal preacher training.” These words and thoughts easily creep in as a pastor because you pour tons of time into people, seeing that the return in life change is not equivalent to the energy exerted, or at least what you get to witness anyway. The physics behind that says this calling is immensely inefficient. I’m sorry but it’s a true ugly fact of ministry. And even sometimes, you start to believe it!
But here’s the cool thing! God’s math and laws of physics, and other things I know nothing about, are not the same as the math laws of this world! I’m not saying all this because I’m horrible at math and I can’t help my 4th grader with his homework. I’m saying this because God has a way of taking the smallest things and using it to provide in an overabundance. Whether it is food (i.e. Jesus feeding 5,000 hungry people with a couple sardines and crackers) or whether that be witnessing one life change that provides a long-lasting inspiring spirit of energy. God math isn’t 1+1 = 2; it’s more like, 1+1 = 1,381!!
This last Sunday was one of those times for me. God physics allowed me to witness a person, whose church background I know very well, raise their hand in an act of praise and worship for the first time. I felt like I was watching chains break before my eyes! This person later described it to me as feeling like they had “…found a piece of a puzzle fitting into place, it always belonged there just hadn’t found it yet.” It totally and completely moved me to tears and injected a spirit of energy and blessing in me that will carry me through for a long time! Pastors, church leaders, staff, praise and worship team, children’s teachers, door greeters, ushers, people who are ministering to those where you work, play and live...this is why we do what we do!
As, we learned from Nehemiah, I WILL NOT COME DOWN from the work God has set before me! I will not let the outside world or religious people tell me the job is too big, or we’re doing it wrong, or I don’t know enough, or I’m in over my head! No, I will not come down! My work and energy didn’t change this person’s life a single bit, but it did create a path for God to. That’s why I do what I do! That’s why I will continue to fight for people hurt by church. Give up on me world and religious people for I am lost to the cause…I’ve seen God change lives!