Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday Morning Musings ...

Yesterday was a difficult one to evaluate. We had our full worship band back for the first time in 3 or 4 weeks and they sounded good. Our worship leader was back for the first time in 4 weeks, but our subs did well the last 3 weeks. Our attendance jumped back up, it wasn't good but it was at least respectable for worship. We had a new family that returned for their third time, that is a very good sign. The weather was outstanding, one of the best days we have had in over 5 months.

The difficult part of the evaluation is that it was a tough day to really get a handle on the atmosphere. It seemed to fluctuate during the service and certainly during the message. It could have just been me. I know that I am tired and need some vacation time. I know that I have really been wrestling with some big stuff in leadership and in people's lives. I also know that the Lord was really working on me about the content of yesterday's sermon. It was from Malachi 1 and dealt with not giving God our best, of just trying to get by. It seemed to fall on mainly deaf ears, but then again it may have been that God was talking to me and few other people. I went to the altar myself at the conclusion of the message, because I knew that I had not been giving God my best recently. A couple of lines from Craig Groeschel's book "Confessions of a Pastor" hit me hard. "I forgot that God didn't call me to be like a Pastor but to be like Christ." Ouch in capital letters. The other line was "somewhere along the way I became a full-time Pastor and part-time follower of Christ".

I shared that I felt the difference for many of us in how we serve, live and give as believers is similar to the difference between a garage sale and an estate sale. At an estate sale they everything is available including the best they have to offer. At a garage sale you know that they are only offering their leftovers, the things they have outgrown, worn out or those bunny slippers that no one would ever wear. Too often we invite God to our garage sale instead of offering him our whole estate.

Here's hoping you will give God your best this week.


At 2:36 PM, Blogger Tim Morris said...

I assume you are leaving this open for interaction and sense I am starved for fellowship I am jumping in.
Why is it important to measure up? If you are better at it will God love you more?
I assume we want to measure up to honor Christ so self evaluation is, or can be healthy.
On the other hand, realizing that being good enough, Christian enough or holy enough is impossible is also liberating.
In your church you are not responsible to make the spirit move, we are not manipulators of a sovereign God, and you cannot possibly know what good you have done. Sometimes we see results, sometimes we never do.
What is our best anyway? Who wants to spend their life thinking about what they could have done better when usually we are doing the best we know how at the time?
Evaluation of a service should consist of , this is what I wanted to communicate, did I do it? Were people welcomed properly and made to feel important, loved or special.
When I see a pastor that has given himself to serve Christ and others repent because he isn't doing it well enough I think, I don't have a snowballs chance in hell.
We live, we are, and today I did my best. What is my best today may not be the same as yesterday but that doesn't mean that yesterday I didn't do my best.
Repent for sin, but everything else removes the freedom we are to enjoy in Christ.
In Christ there is no condemnation, live free.
Are you good enough? NO! That's why Christ came.
Live your day today with no regrets even if tomorrow you see you could have done better. Everything else robs you of the joy, freedom and security we all talk about but never experience.
The whole point of being able to handle poisonous snakes is that when we are un-expectantly bitten it can't kill us.
I'm not a good enough parent, not a good enough pastor, not a good enough Christian, not a good enough carpenter. To Live like that to me is the same as saying what Christ did for me wasn't good enough either.
I fail, I'm not good enough, but Christ is, there in is my joy.
So you got a new insight from a book, GOOD! Apply them and move on, but repent? Save it for sin.
You thought you sold the estate and found out you had more to sell, sell it with joy, thrilled you found it when you thought you had nothing else to give, I think it should be a party, not a time for shame.
Now carry on ;)

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Rob said...

excellent analogy comparing the two kinds of get off my toes! ;^)

You know you'd always be welcome at the condo down in Sarasota...M & D come home at the end of the month, and Allegiant has some really great fares!


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