in my last post, i promised to talk about this sense of spirit-numbing weariness that threatens to envelop me (and a good number of my ministry buddies). please indulge me for a moment while i whine. don’t tell me that i’m not “allowed” to be tired. i don’t want to be an overcomer anymore. don’t get me wrong–i really, really love jesus and i know that this all ends up well, it’s just that the job seems so big and the results seem so small.
perhaps my lassitude can be partially blamed on the current circus that is the political campaign season. i don’t want to be a constituency. i have no interest in being a “political force” but it seems to me that someone (the media? the candidates? us?) has worked very hard to link nationalism and evangelicalism and has been wildly successful. that kind of power makes me anxious and that kind of responsibility makes me tired. didn’t jesus teach that we are not of this world and citizens of another kingdom? can i just be a jesus-follower and not be an evangelical?
i don’t want to be a “market segment” either. i suppose it’s good that christian music (although i’m not sure what that is) has gone mainstream, and i’m really happy that rick warren and joel osteen have sold a buzillion christian books (and I sure as heck don’t know what that is) but now the religious demographic has captured the attention of madison avenue and wall street. meanwhile the institutional church is excited about being on main street but has forgotten about people on the street.
one final thing…do i have to be a mega-church? deep inside the pit of my soul there still burns a passion to do something for god. i really want to do everything i can expand the kingdom, and i hurt for the people all around me that have not had a lucid presentation of the gospel. and i’m really happy for my friends who are leading growing churches and adding additional “worship experiences” (add that the the list of things I need defined for me) and going on television. but to be really honest, i am terrified by the part of me that wants all that stuff. i am ashamed of the sapling of jealousy that i keep chopping down but keeps springing back up. i hate all the secret reasons why i want my church to grow (but, be assured, i keep a list of noble reasons at the ready). i’m 51 years old. i’ve worked really hard for a very long time. at this stage in my life, it seems that the things that really matter have almost nothing to do with being a mega-church. maybe i’m lazy or maybe i’m just not talented enough. perhaps i’ve thrown in the towel and i’m just seeking to justify myself. what really matters to me is to love jesus more today than i loved him yesterday, and to see if i can influence someone else…maybe a small handful of someone elses…to love him more. too.