Joab was the commander of the royal army…..(1 Chronicles 27:34).
Last night as I blew my whistle, I cringed inside, because I knew I had just called out of my area. I was officiating an area that at the time didn’t belong to me. It belonged to my partner and although I saw the violation, I had to trust him to make the call.
We all have a role to play in the church. A place God has gifted us to be a Kingdom worker. As a leader, in my own fear and insecurity, I have tried stepping on the toes of those I have given leadership to because in my own pride I didn’t think they were leading well enough.
We have a problem in the church that starts in our own hearts. We’re so concerned about offering some impressive program to people that we don’t use how we do church as a training ground for people to try, fail, grow and develop as future leaders in the church. Truth is, the reason I wanted to step in, on many occasions was that, at least from my purview, things weren’t “looking” as good as they should to the outsider. In my own pride, I’ve wrongfully believed what keeps people at church is impressive programs not the power of God displayed in God’s people, who sometimes stumble over their words, miss a beat on the worship music or don’t hit it out of the park for whatever opportunity they’ve been given to lead.
In my immaturity what I thought I was supposed to do next was step in and take over control to “fix things.” Looking back, I don’t think that was the right call at all. As a leader, who is seeking to make disciples, instead of taking over, communicating to the mentee that they just don’t have what it takes, a better approach would be to come alongside and help them. Offering much grace and understanding, cheering them on and believing in them, guiding them in their faith development.
This problem we have in the church is really a reflection of our own prideful hearts. There’s a seduction trying to convince us that offering something impressive is what people are most drawn to. Although it may draw them, it will not keep them. I have found that was draws people and keeps them is love, humility, transparency, and grace. Yes, of course, we should seek to offer our very best programs at church, but not to the point that we neglect caring for people in the process.
This seduction really reveals a falsity we have believed for ourselves. We’ve convinced ourselves the best us we have to offer others is someone who has things together, lives the model Christian life and looks “impressive” to others on the outside. Yet, we read that there was nothing “impressive” about Jesus’ appearance (Isaiah 53:2). What drew people to Him was the love that He had in His heart that He extended to others. He was God’s power on display as He demonstrated real love in action.
Be reminded today that the best you is a real you. Don’t kid yourself, I did it for too long. You don’t have it all together and that’s ok. In fact, there’s beauty and freedom in admitting that you don’t. People will be drawn to you, not because you’re the ideal Christian, but because you’re willing to admit that you’re not. People can relate to that. They can relate with someone who is just like them, a sinner, saved by grace, being made new by the love of God.
Lord, I want to be real. There’s too much fake Christianity. We’re so concerned with being impressive that we’re not being real. I am not an impressive person, Lord, I am a sinner, saved by grace, who longs to extend your love to the world. Use my life. I long to be a Kingdom worker for you, in Jesus name, Amen.