You know what the problem is?
You know what makes me sick? You know what makes me so mad I want to invent underpants for cattle – just so I can give a rodeo bull a wedgie? -Earl Pitts
Growing up I remember hearing the daily rant of Earl Pitts on the radio. It always started with the phrase “You know what makes me sick?” followed by a ridiculous phrase highlighting what he wanted to do due to his extreme frustration.
Our culture is amused by TV talking heads and radio personalities who vent their frustrations and give their advice on how to fix everything that is wrong. Think about it, when is the last time you heard a story on CNN or FOX that didn’t have a “problem” as it’s topic? (I’m sure there are some, but they are the exception to the rule.)
Sadly, the obsession with our problems and short-comings doesn’t keep itself outside our fellowship in the church. Sermons consistently highlight what the problems of the church are. Business meetings seek to address our problems and arguments develop over how to fix them. Worse than that members fill their time of fellowship talking about how this is wrong, that is wrong, this person is doing it wrong. They are offering up their solutions in conversation, but not taking action to understand the issue. Doesn’t it sound like my post is doing exactly what I am describing? The truth is that I am included in this prognosis. I have taken part in all of the above scenarios.
I offer then, a solution that I am convicted to seek. You are welcome to seek it with me, but this is from me, for me.
God has called us TO Him, TO ministry, TO mission, TO unity, TO fellowship, TO His kingdom. With this in view I want to move away from seeing the imperfections of ministry and focus on the ministry that God has called me to. In the church I want to serve the way that God has called me to serve. Instead of looking at the problems and seeking to operate in a way that avoids them I want to seek that which God has shown me.
At the R13 Conference in Seattle, Matt Chandler (pastor of the Village Church near Dallas) offered this kind of suggestion. It convicted me. Here is the short segment that addresses pastors in this mindset.
Let’s not be:
Building a church on what you don’t want to be rather than what God has commanded you to be. -Chandler
Obedience is Mine. The Results are His.