Are You A Great Resource? | nakedpastor

I came across this in my morning reading, and it really hit home with me. Are You A Great Resource? | nakedpastor. I always enjoy reading the nakedpastor but I really think he nailed what we in the church have to be careful about. That is seeing people as simply resources to enable the attainment of some goal.

When people look at me and see a man with a variety of gifts, talents, abilities, interests and hobbies (let’s say), I reject it immediately when they look at me as a resource, as a potential, as a pool for something greater, as a means to some end. This is a false and destructive way to look at me as a person.

This is why I like volunteering in our vacation bible school program. I specifically volunteer for the preschool program even though my only daughter is long past the preschool area. I my be seen as a resource to the people running the program, but I am not a resource to the kids.

I want to talk about the kids in my crew this year and what I see in them. A. is my daughter’s best friend’s little sister. A. is painfully shy around adults but has kind of warmed up to me as she has seen me with my daughter and her sister. This is her second year in my crew and this year the growth in her is amazing. Even the difference from the first day to the third day is amazing. The first day she wanted to go home about an hour before program ended. This is fine because we do an evening VBS that ends at 9:00 and A.’s bedtime is 8:30, so it makes sense she would crash when she did. However, last night she mentioned that she wanted to go home, then realized that there was still fun to be had so she kept going and even said as she was leaving that “I made it the whole night”.

M. is the talker. He is the oldest age we have in the preschool program and will be starting Kindergarden in the fall. He is the kid who not only pays attention, but appears to pay attention as well. Those of you who work with preschooler’s know what I mean by that. Many preschoolers don’t look like they are paying attention, but they will answer any question you ask them about what was covered. M. would be seen by most adults as the “good” kid. He is polite and obedient. I only know M. from VBS because his family attends the church my church partners with for VBS. However M. has attended VBS for a few years now and has gone from only doing things with his mom to a very independent child.

L. is the Doer. Like M., L. is independent and will talk, but L. prefers to do. He is high energy and I don’t mean that in as a euphemism for “this kid is so wild he is driving me crazy.” L. really grabs on to the doing part of VBS like the Games and the Crafts. He does have enough self control to sit through a video and listen to a bible story. L. also attends the partner church so I have only seen him in VBS. L. and M. are friends and they stick together which make them easy to care for in my part as a crew leader.

Last but not least is K. K is the youngest in my crew and in his first VBS. He is a boy through and through. He is very physical and full of energy (in a good way). K.’s family attends the same small group as my family but I have not had much interaction with K. prior to VBS. K. has warmed right up to me and seems to enjoy the time in VBS. He is one of those kids who looks like he isn’t paying attention but when you ask him a question, he is right there with the answer.

My point after a very long tangent is that these kids don’t see me as a resource. They see me (I hope) as someone who loves them in a Godly way. In a way that makes them feel safe. This is how I feel around them. It is God pouring out his love in abundance through these children. I am not a resource to these children, I am simply me. And these kids are not people I simply have to return to their parents unharmed. My prayer is that I can return some small fraction of God’s love that I get from them.

Ways To Have People Leave Your Church….

This is another one of my favorite Pastor Blogs. This is a great example of a Pastor who gets it. I like his humor and grasp of reality. The example in the article below is how a Pastor who is totally invested in his church takes people leaving his church.

GaryLamb.org » Blog Archive » Ways To Have People Leave Your Church….

Grow – Let your church grow and people WILL leave. They will say things have changed, you’ve changed, it all about numbers, the pastor didn’t shake their hand, etc. Every time we grow, we lose people that have been here for a while. This is the hardest one for me personally. Because of the fact that those leaving have supported and bought into the vision for so long, I hate to see them leave when the vision is being fulfilled and the things we have dreamed together for so long are finally happening.

That is surprising but when you think about it, it makes sense. This would accurately describe people who want something until they actually get it. For some people it may be a choice to not be happy with what they have. For others it may be a need to have a goal and reaching a goal means it is time to move on to another goal.

Lead – I have learned that we are geared toward having authority issues. I could tell people the sky was blue and they would say it was red just because. Anytime you make a leadership decision like telling small groups what they are going to teach, changing the way preschool is set-up, etc. there are going to be people who buck up on you for no other reason then the fact that they don’t like to be led.

This one doesn’t apply simply to church now does it. 🙂 Anyone who has children faces this one head on daily. Heck, God has this issue with me. I’m always bucking his leadership decisions. 🙁

ChurchForMen.com

I was just surfing through ChurchForMen.com and I was blown away. I had heard a similar message before, but this site pulls it all together. This should be required reading for anyone in Men’s ministry.

Men are dying for a leader, but we’ve turned Christ into a lover. Today’s Jesus is sensitive, caring and beautiful. Our praise music has the same breathless feel and romantic lyrics as top-40 love songs. Jesus barked, “Follow Me!” but we’ve softened that; it’s now, “Have a personal relationship with Me.”

Evel Overcome With Good

Evel Overcome With Good | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

He believed in God, but he couldn’t walk away from the gold and the gambling and the booze and the women.

I remember Evel as kid.  I had all the the Evel toys.  Then I lost interest as I matured.  It never really occurred to me  that he was lost until very recently.  I see this as another example of the power of God.  He picked the right time to reach Evel and used Evel to reach many more.  God is Awesome.

Back to Back to the Basics | nakedpastor

Back to Back to the Basics | nakedpastor

David Richo has a BOOK out: The Five Things We Cannot Change: And The Happiness We Find By Embracing Them (Shambala, 2005). He claims that there are certain facts of life that we cannot change, unavoidable “givens”. They are:1) Everything changes and ends,
2) Things do not always go according to plan,
3) Life is not always fair,
4) Pain is part of life,
5) People are not loving and loyal all the time.

I so appreciate these points. They are a sobering tonic in the face of all the syrupy platitudes that seem to abound today, especially in Western Christianity. Many refuse to go here. In the words of Jack Nicholson, “we can’t handle the truth!” But we must go here to get to the joy we all desire.

What I love about reading blogs by pastors is that you can stumble upon so many truths you might never expect to see.  In my life right now, I am struggling with 2 and 5.  I had a plan and a few weeks ago that plan was thrown a huge curveball that I am hoping I can hit.  The problem is forgetting #2 leaves you feeling vulnerable and if you forget #5 at the same time the pain is even greater.  I am not sure if my current situation is a test of faith or the consequences of not trusting God and I am not really sure if it matters.  The only way out is to be faithful in trusting God.  That is my prayer for the day/week/month…. That I faithfully trust God, and “prepare my fields to receive the rain”.

The Only Bad Thing About Easter

was what and how I ate.  Too much and too often!  I ended up dying in the middle of my workout this morning and had to quit because I just couldn’t go.  I will try again tomorrow to see if I can do any better.  After I make sure I drink enough water and get enough rest today.

The rest of Easter was awesome.  Our church was able to have an Easter Breakfast at our new temporary facility.  It was awesome to see so many people show up for that.  We also had an awesome service about the hope the resurrection of Jesus gives us.  Then it was time for the family to come over to our small house for Easter Dinner.  The food was awesome and far too plentiful, but it was far nicer to have everyone over.  Almost everyone in the family has to drive at least 45 minutes to get to our house, so it really was quite an honor to be able ot have them.

How The Debate About Torture Became “Stuck On Stupid”

In order to discuss/debate torture we must first agree on a definition of torture. I think it is a good idea to start with the dictionary.

  1. Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
  2. An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain.
  3. Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony: the torture of waiting in suspense.
  4. Something causing severe pain or anguish.

This definition really brings up some interesting questions if the “Anti-Torture” bill gets passed. Will Democrats have grounds to charge people who vote for Republicans under this bill? Certainly they are suffering excruciating mental pain because George W. Bush is President of the United States.

Seriously, does anyone think that anything we have been accused of doing by our own press fits the definition of torture given above? Not some the liberal definition of torture where if someone’s feelings are hurt they are being tortured, but actual excruciating physical or mental pain? It is laughable to call what happened at Abu Ghraib torture. Do I approve of what happened there? No. Is what they did there torture? No. Were criminal charges against the people who carried out what happened there appropriate? Absolutely.

I refuse to accept the terms of debate that the authors of the anti-torture legislation have set up to ensure their success. If you oppose their bill, you then have to be pro-torture. However, I do not support torture and I do not support their bill. One has to accept a couple of assumptions that I do not accept to believe that this bill is necessary. The first assumption is that we are torturing people now and it has to stop. I have not seen evidence of torture as defined above. I have seen people with hurt feelings, but that is not torture. The other assumption is that our enemies (who will not hesitate using torture, by the way) are not watch us and be more that willing to use this against us. Since one prisoner of war holds more credibility with the Main Stream Media that the entire U. S. Military false accusations will make are soldiers have to worry about being prosecuted for doing their job.

Think of the unintended consequences of the anti-torture bill. It seems to me it would be a lot more convenient to kill enemy combatants that to take the risk of having to defend oneself against false accusations of prisoners of war.

It is quite clear that the politics of defeating George W. Bush is far more important to Democrats and RINO’s than the security of our country and that is why the debate is “Stuck on Stupid.”