Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Busyness and blandness

Right now you can expect the continuation of the Baptism posts and other bloggage to be on somewhat of a hiatus. My life is busy and full of craziness and some very crucial decision making. As such I've spent more time on my knees and less time caring about this blog.

One thing taking up my mind and time is our search at Franklin Street Community for a pastor of our own. We've had some of the local PCA pastors filling in the duties of preaching and administering the Lord's Supper. And I've started filling in leading the worship services--a task I've enjoyed and that others have commented on positively. I really see a lot of importance in crafting a worship service that is unified in theme, where we are led to the throne of the Holy One's mercy, and that celebrates this great drama of the world's redemption.

I've been reading through a good number of Ministerial Data Forms, resumes, and vision statements. A lot of the applicants seem like wonderful possibilities. But their ministry experiences and their personal philosophies all seem so, well, homogeneous and common. Yes, they are all men who have a desire to reach a downtown/city context and have a priority on proclamation of the Word and church planting and evangelism. But beyond that, no one stands out with incredible experiences or a radically fresh, invigorating view of the church and his ministry.

But I think that's really the "Jesus way." As Ted has pointed out in a few recent posts ("Looking Good" and "Be Faithful Where You're At" [sic]), spiritual life and leadership aren't about flashiness and making shockwaves in your respective societal scene. Paul's "unhindered" preaching took place while locked up in a prison (Acts 28:31). It was unhindered because he couldn't try to look good for anyone--he was jailed! All he had was a message to preach. And how often do we think the Next New Thing is what is going to get the job done and push us a big step along the way in our life of discipleship? Whenever we try to jump from one fad to the next and rely on change and freshness rather than relying upon faithfulness to "what we've already attained" (Phil. 3:16), then we're set for disappointment. Flashy sermons don't bring the kingdom of God to Richmond. Faithful proclamation of Christ does. Flashy people don't bring the kingdom. Humble servants who labor in prayer do. Great leaders don't build the church; the Holy Spirit does. And so it goes on.

Maybe these normal pastors with normal experiences are just what we need, after all.


HALFMOM said...

well said - faithfulness is better than flash any day! you will make a good church leader Drew!

am spending time on my knees as well - interceeding. in fact, my prayer for you this morning, from Eph 3:14-21 - that you would be full of the power of the Holy Spirit

Ted M. Gossard said...

Great post, Andrew. And thanks for your gracious menion of my posts.

This is so right, and so vitally important. Doing some of that stuff is probably okay, as long as we're not relying on it.

As you say, it's about the message, the faithful proclamation of the Word, and it's about people seeing Jesus in our lives and among us, in the Jesus way.

Thanks brother! And blessings on you. And be assured of my prayers for you.

Andrew said...

Thanks, Ted. It's interesting that you mention praying for filling of the Spirit, because I was praying through Eph. 5:18 this morning.

Andrew said...

Whoops, I meant thanks to both of you!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

You're welcome.

I'm still praying too - same passage.