We're not inclined to make a change in our life if we are complacent. Often times, real change comes when we are dissatisfied with the way things are. Have you ever seen a group of picketers with signs that say, "Our pay is adequate”? Of course not! People go on strike when they have become so dissatisfied with some level of employment that they join the picket line.
Sometimes we have to reach a point of dissatisfaction that makes us ready for change. Dissatisfaction leads to change. Complacency on the other hand is dangerous. It keeps us places that are not safe.
Dictionary.com defines complacency as: a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger.
Do you ever think of becoming more? Or are you just satisfied enough to stay where you are? That is the danger of complacency. It robs us of vision… for a better future, for a better life. While the life that awaits us passes by, a life that deprives us of memories swallows us up.
This may sound crazy but if you want to be happier you need to start being dissatisfied with where you are. Acknowledge that good enough is no longer good enough. Turn your good enough into great.
Sometimes churches just amaze me. And by amaze I mean baffle. And by baffle I mean drive me crazy. And by drive me crazy I mean, “Hello, I’m the Mad Pastor.”
I am a big believer that churches should have a mission and vision. How are you supposed to carry out your role in the Great Commission unless you’ve determined what it is? So I like to read other churches’ mission statements. Here’s a portion of one from a mainline denominational Christian church I’ve been to:
“We do not presume to tell people what to think or believe. Ours is a community of free inquiry. We explore together our faith document, the Bible, and the Tradition that has been handed down to us, using our Reason along with personal Experience to determine what we believe and how we will act. There is room within this spiritual community for a wide variety of viewpoints on faith and life. Indeed, we believe that we are enriched by this variety.”
Huh? I have no idea what this church believes in. Seems to me like anything goes. Believe Jesus is the Son of God and your savior? Then he is! Believe you have salvation because you did a good deed once? Bippity Bop - You’re saved! Believe you can finance your way into heaven? Good News! God accepts all denominations! (Get it? I made a funny!)
As a pastor, every Sunday I stand behind the pulpit and I tell you what to think and believe. That is my job. It is your job to determine if you want to believe it. You don’t have to. I won’t make you. But that’s my job.
A church without standards has nothing for which to aim. There can be no growth because there is no challenge. Anything goes. You will not have any spiritual depth because there is no standard of measurement. A healthy church cannot have “a wide variety of viewpoints on faith and life.” It needs to have one. Otherwise, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6) …unless you believe in something else.
Call me crazy, but shouldn’t churches state up front what they believe and set standards and help people achieve them? Does that mean some people will disagree? Yes. But is that such a bad thing? What do you think?
What do hot dog wieners and ministry have in common?
A friend of mine is an elder at his church. The board of elders was planning a church picnic. Everything sounds normal so far. That is until someone wanted to buy one particular brand of hot dog wieners and someone wanted to buy another. For ten minutes they debated on what brand to buy. My friend had to leave the meeting.
Now I'm all for church picnics. Really, anything that offers food is pretty much a draw for me. And every event should be thought out and well planned. But is it possible to get too focused on the details and lose the purpose of the event ?
How often have you focused so much on the details of something that you forgot the real purpose of what you are doing?Do you focus on your kids having the best and forget what they really want is to know you love them? Do you focus on looking good at work when the purpose of work is to provide for your family? Do you focus on getting an “A” at the cost of a relationship? And dowe in the church focus on getting our own way only to forget to send God an invitation to the church picnic?
What do hot dog wieners and ministry have in common? Nothing.
You might think me mad for saying this but I think it's time we focused a little less on our wieners and a little more on the purpose of the church.