I Was Just Thinking About – CHOICES AND DECISIONS.
Several years ago at a Minister’s Conference, Dr. Howard Hendricks led a seminar where he posed the question: “What Does It Take To Make You Want To Quit?” It allowed that a person had viable choices to consider and decisions to make. There is a vast amount of statistics regarding: (1) Why a Pastor leaves a particular church or parish; (2) Why a Pastor abandons any further ministry; (3) Why does a person or people decide to leave a particular Church and have nothing further to do with organized religion? (4) Why a Church decided to close its doors and end its community ministry? These and many other questions have been raised and some analysis offered in an attempt to answer the question, “why?”!
Factors that should be a major focus includes: Whose Church is it? And, Why did a person enter into a ministerial role? The Church is known as being the bride of Christ. Jesus has said: “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). The Church that Jesus Christ had/has in mind is summarized in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…” The primary objective for Christ’s Church is for it to be a witnessing body of believers who live and proclaim His Gospel. Question: Does this describe who you are and what the church you attend does? In Romans 15:20-21, Paul shared what the ambition of believers and the Church should be involved in doing, “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says: Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.” There is also the role of edification, building each other up, that should be part of the functioning commitment. In I Corinthians 14:26, Paul indicated: “Everything that is done must strengthen all of you.” Is this the focus and reality of the Church where you attend?
The role of the servant of the Lord is clear. The servant must follow and serve without complaint and reluctance. Obviously, some who get into ministry do so for the wrong reasons. The true servant is one where the choice that has been made and the decision reached is a God choice and decision. Has the person been called by Jesus Christ? When speaking about the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, Jesus shares a particular insight with those who are taking part in the Passover Meal, in John 13:18, “I am not speaking about all of you; I know whom I have chosen.” Later, he will add, John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain…” The choice and decision of Jesus Christ that those whom He has chosen and appointed are to be productive, bearing eternal fruit.
Could it be that some ministries have become more ritualistic, liturgical and theoretical? Could it be that the purpose of Jesus Christ for His Church and His servants has been aborted? Could it be that rather than edifying one another, there has been enablement for compromises and ignoring of the lethargy that is taking place in people’s lives? Could it be that the church is more focused on being politically correct and in cultural harmony than it is in giving the clear, uncompromised and precise Word from the Lord?
What is a summation of The Word and what it will be doing in people’s lives and in the organized church? A starting place is Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Does this represent who you are and what your church is doing? Make certain you embrace the choice and decision of Jesus Christ for you and the church you attend.
To serve this present age, my calling to fulfill;
O, may it all my powers engage, to do His holy will.
Prayerfully – consider these things with me?