Archive for December, 2000

I'm not where I thought I would be

As a I lay in bed I pondered what I had become. In my younger years I was so driven to do all I could for God. 8 months after stepping in to a church I was in some form of a ministry role for years. Right through high school in to bible college. Youth ministry, small group ministry, church, parachurch, preaching, teaching and even some divine revelation. My life was geared towards ministry.

Things are different now. I’m not convinced that things are worse but I do question myself. Introspection can be a health thing. Ministry doesn’t compel me anymore. I am repulsed by the idea of subjecting myself to the rats nest of politics and pretense mixed in with the gospel. Looking and acting spiritual used to bring such reward, but now the reality of this reward has diminished for me. Having people think your spiritual brings an incredible feeling. Not only was I good at something, I was good at the greatest thing you could be good at, God.

What of ministry for God’s sake? Isn’t this how it was intended? Well yes, but the culture of ministry is very different from the ideal of ministry. The ideal of ministry can often be met with a generous tip, and loving embrace, or a kind word. The power of ideal ministry flows from the power of God. The cross, the Holy Spirit, the word. The culture of ministry is difficult to describe in a few sentances. It involves exclusive theology, man made institutions, money, politics, selfish ambition and vain conceit. Not to say that God’s ministry doesn’t shine through this, it does.

What I’ve found is that when you remove the worldly reward for ministry you have a lot less motivation to minister to someone. In my life I have a lot less motivation to join in church activities, to volunteer, to do a number of things. You are looking at the best aspect of my ministry as a Christian. “”.

In the past 5 years I’ve become relatively affluent. My skills in web programming have garnered me a middle class income. I have a good job, great friends, and I am content. Part of me is a afraid that I’ve traded my desire for God, for selfish desire. A closer examination would yield that I traded my desire for “Christian” worldly success, for just plain worldly success. The bottom line is, how much did I care about God in the first place? How much do I care now?

I don’t know, but I can say this. My love for God is much purer. When I do something for God, there is a lot less selfish ambition mixed with it. I couldn’t give any exact estimates. Selfish ambition is a very difficult thing to detect. It is often masked under the pretense of some more holier motivation. I can honestly tell you that I do love God. He is more faithful than but I am genuinely thankful for what He has done for me. I am a big believer in the gospel. Not the “accept Jesus in to my heart” gospel, but the real faith. The real life transforming, sin killing, heart freeing gospel. I am sincerely motivated to share this gospel.

Perhaps God is refining me. Perhaps these years are intended for me to get the gospel right before I go around spreading it. My early ministry years caused more harm than good and it was better to set me aside while God works on my message. Hones my motivation, my theology, my love. I hope so. God has let me know that I should just stay put and let Him do his thing, and when the time comes I’ll know that I’ll be called in to action. I don’t know what that action is but I hope I can honor God with it.

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