Nothing to Control or Protect

I’m back from the heartland. Awesome time with tons of people! I’m so blessed and exhausted. I also got to go to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield, Illinois as I pass through. That place is incredible. If you live or go anywhere near there, you might want to plan a trip to that locale. There are some awesome technical displays to help tell that story.

I also returned to a very caustic letter from an angry pastor who thinks I’m the anti-Christ for writing Why I Don’t Go to Church Anymore. He accused me of some pretty ugly stuff, in belittling terms. I’ll spare you the details. Actually, my heart really goes out to the brother. I remember feeling like he does now. He has a great passion for God, but can’t see beyond the little knothole he’s known all his life.

As I read it, it reminded me how I used to feel about truth. Somehow when you’re caught up in religion, truth seems the least desirable thing on the planet and you have to attack everything and everyone one that disagrees with you. But when you discover that the life of Jesus is the pearl of great price, you don’t have to attack anything else. Just let people know how real Jesus wants to be in them.

But I also got a letter today from a brother in Alberta, Canada. I love what he wrote:

We are discovering quite by accident that as we keep Jesus centre, He raises up folks to function in specific leadership functions when they are needed. If we need hospitality, folks with that gifting take leadership. When we need pastors, folks with those gifts take leadership. It seems Holy Spirit raises up the right gift at the right time to provide leadership for whatever He wants to accomplish. Everyone gets to play!

This drives my professional pastor friends crazy!!! “What about order? What about accountability?” “You can’t build a church like that!”. That’s my point exactly! We don’t build the Church—Jesus does. When you don’t have something to build, control or to protect, it really frees folks to be who God created them to be and the freedom to step out and use gifts they have been given as He leads them to.

I love that part of not having something to build, control or protect. Then we really do get to be what God made us to be, and not what any institution needs us to be! So cool!

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2 Comments
  1. James May 2, 2007 at 6:33 am

    Wayne,

    I really, really appreciate that essay. I recently left a weekly gathering of really neat people who just weren’t hungry for the same kind of fellowship and transformation that my wife and I are. This essay articulates in a loving way what I struggled to say at all. I’m afraid that my former congregates (and now, some of them are *former* friends) felt rejected by us…I look forward to owning the seasoned perspective reflected in your writing.

  2. James May 2, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Wayne,

    I really, really appreciate that essay. I recently left a weekly gathering of really neat people who just weren’t hungry for the same kind of fellowship and transformation that my wife and I are. This essay articulates in a loving way what I struggled to say at all. I’m afraid that my former congregates (and now, some of them are *former* friends) felt rejected by us…I look forward to owning the seasoned perspective reflected in your writing.

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