Ministry Idolatry and Unhealthy Obsessions

I quote Perry Noble a lot on this blog. And so far, he hasn't paid me a dime! In spite of that, I just had to relay his post today, in which he once more hits the nail on the head:
One of my frustrations in church world has always been that leaders seem to always be seeking a plan rather than a person.

We want to know “how” to make things grow! We come up with cool series titles. We brainstorm how to increase attendance. We come up with strategies for success in regards to seeing the charts go up and to the right…

AND…let me be VERY CLEAR…NOTHING is wrong with the above.

NOTHING is wrong with wanting to see more people attend church!
NOTHING is wrong with wanting to teach something that is interesting, not boring.
NOTHING is wrong with having strategies and systems in place to make sure that things hit on all cylinders.

HOWEVER…before seeking a PROCESS I believe we must seek a PERSON!!! Because…only through a clearer view of Jesus will we see a clearer view of all that He desires. (By the way…I think when we seek Him He will reveal the “what” and the “how!”

I don’t really think we need a lot more INFORMATION if we are not going to allow the TRANSFORMATION of God’s Holy Spirit to IMPACT how we do ministry.

In Isaiah 6 God ROCKED Isaiah’s world…and the result was Isaiah saying, “Here am I!” Translation…when we see Jesus for WHO HE IS there isn’t a risk wer’re not willing to take in order to see HIS vision fulfilled. Before Isaiah saw “what” he was supposed to do…he saw “WHO” he was supposed to be doing it for…and that made the difference.

In Matthew 16:13-19 Peter GOT IT…He confessed Jesus Christ as Lord…and Jesus, in return, confirmed leadership and responsibility to Peter. Peter was the main speaker for the church in Acts 2. God used Peter to accomplish great things…but before Peter saw the “what” he was supposed to do…he saw “WHO” he was supposed to be doing it for…and that made the difference.

In Acts 9 we see the Apostle Paul…who already had a successful “ministry” going. He was a rising star…everyone was talking about Paul and all that he was accomplishing. It is the classic example of having a “successful” ministry without Jesus.

BUT…God had other plans for Paul, and so he knocked him off his horse and revealed Himself to him in an undeniable way. THEN…God unleashed the Apostle Paul to do ministry that literally set the world on fire!!! Before Paul saw the “what” he was supposed to do…he saw the “WHO he was supposed to be doing it for…and that made the difference.

Focusing on the “what” without the “Who” leads to ministry idolatry and unhealthy obsessions…and CAN cause us to call ourselves successful when God hasn’t done so.

Jesus should be our obsession! Jesus should be our vision…when the leaders mentioned above saw HIM, HE then showed them HOW to do what it was that He called them to do.

PLEASE don’t misunderstand me…I am NOT against having plans/strategies and such…heck, Nehemiah had it all planned out and was just waiting on the opportunity to share his vision. (But…in Nehemiah 1 it is clear that his desire to do something great was out of being broken!)

Maybe we don’t need another planning meeting…maybe we need a prayer meeting that results in the revelation of His plan!

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