Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The honesty response

Who knew what kind of response a little honesty can bring.

Oh, that's right, you may not even know what I'm talking about, so here it is: I send out a prayer request update each week (well, almost each week) to a group of about 100 people who've said they would pray for me, my family and our The Point. The update I sent out yesterday contained some bluntness about the difficulty of this church planting journey. I mentioned that after our gathering on Sunday I was ready to quit. I then said that although I was having visions of leaving early, that there is nothing I'd rather be doing than planting this church.

Here's the thing, people were so responsive to my honesty. Why was that? Maybe it's because we so rarely see honesty. It's so easy to put on the happy face and act like everything is fine. It's definitely easy for a "pastor" to fall into that trap.

I guess why it's so easy for me to fall into this is because I don't want to be a failure. Who does? The thing about it, however, is that the standards that I use and that other pastors use to rate our success have nothing to do with the standards that God mentions in Scripture. We use numbers, money and momentum. I think God uses things like faithfulness, trust, obedience and perserverance.

But those don't always look as good as the other stuff.

Now let me say: Numbers, cash and momentum aren't bad. They can be evidence of God's hand. They could be the result of our hard work. I really don't understand that anyway.

All I know is that I want to be faithful, obedient and someone who finishes well. I'm not sure how well I'm doing. Ask me in a week. I'll try and be honest.

3 Comments:

At 9:04 AM, October 18, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonathan,
We love your passion & vision for touching lives in the Spartanburg community. You and Liz are delivering another baby, not just Levi. It's a long journey. Parenting doesn't end at birth, it's the beginning. We all learn parenting skills by trial and error. What may work for one may not work for others. We just have to stay focused, obedient, faithful, prayerful and see how God can raise this baby. We love you guys!

 
At 9:22 AM, October 18, 2006 , Anonymous William said...

I believe the #1 thing God doesn't want us to be is quitters. I can see your discouragement with the slow progression of The Point's growth. At the same time, I can see how God will use us in Spartanburg. God may wait until all we have to count on is a miracle from him, and then he'll really show up and show out as he did in John 11. So that we can see this is purely God's church. God is going to pull of something big in Spartanburg, and I thank him that we can be part of it.

Thanks for being our pastor and giving so much of yourself.

 
At 1:58 PM, October 20, 2006 , Blogger Joey said...

I don't know if you have the new Casting Crowns CD "Lifesong", but that CD is all about being honest with others and with God. So many times I get caught up in the worldly trap of faking it at church. The world teaches us to put on a happy face and move on. That is definitely what God is not teaching. I am glad to see that a pastor is willing to be honest. How can a pastor who is not honest with his congregation expect his congregation be honest with him. It is not going to happen. I am glad to see someone that is genuine. That is what depending on Christ is all about. Christ knows what we need, but if we don't come to him as a child, with no pretenses and completely honest, He is not going to listen. The problem with so many people getting caught up in the fakeness of church that is hard to see the ones who are really genuine as not faking that themselves. I pray that we all are honest with each other. Your church plant will not survive if you your group is not honest with each other.

 

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