I’ve been in ministry for years now, but I officially became lead pastor of our church way back in December of 2008. It has been thoroughly wonderful so far, and I am so blessed at who and how God has put us together as a church here in Juneau, AK to see His purposes accomplished.
I am amazed though at how much I feel like a politician. I have to motivate people, inspire, encourage, make (only) positive changes, share a vision for the future, and deal with people—some of whom feel I have not lived up to one or all of those things. I live and learn while raising a family and working a full-time job besides the one pastoring our church.
One thing I’m not so good at, and for the most part refuse to do, is BS people. I know, I know—a politician who can’t BS is done before he starts, but I think the church has been filled with it for too long (so has politics, but that’s another post). In fact, a lot of churches are so filled you can barely get in the doors on Sunday (nice visual, huh?).
We have tended toward not dealing with things, faking it ‘til we make it (which never seems to come), concealing disappointments because anything else is a “lack of faith,” and so on.
We’ve settled for pretending Christianity instead of living and experiencing it. You didn’t get the job you wanted? Well, let me regurgitate a bumper sticker I read once that I don’t really believe (because my life proves it) but will hopefully make you feel better. You just heard you have Ovarian Flu? It’s okay, just trust God and He’ll make everything better.
I’m not saying this as condemnation, but I know the temptation is always there. It’s easier to BS than to walk with somebody where you don’t want to go.
Romans 15:15 & 16 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
That’s not easy. Neither is Jesus’ command to love each other as He loved us. That’s the point, it’s divine and supernatural work. I love that the verse says, “live in harmony.” We’re not all robots spouting the same clichés and going through the same experiences. We flow together to make something new, that’s what harmony is: diverse sounds coming together.
The beginning of Romans 15 gives us the template to live above the BS. We offer our bodies as living sacrifices. It’s in surrender that we can make a difference and truly walk with people. God’s not buying it and we’re not helping anybody, so let’s put the shovel down.
Just the other day, I was tempted to BS. I was writing about a great church event we had that went very well, but didn’t draw all the people I thought it should have. I wanted to gloss that over and put a “spin” on it then I thought, “why do I want to do this?”
The sad answer that has plagued mankind since the beginning was staring me in the face at that moment: pride.
Pride says I need to be recognized, I need to have all the answers, I need a big church to be important, I need 100 comments on my blog post. That’s why we BS and try to make ourselves look better, but better to whom?
We already have God’s heart and attention, what more could you ask for?
What do you think? Are you guilty of piling on the BS or are you working hard to get it out of the church and/or your lives?