Monday Morning Insights

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    My Two Pet Peeves about Ministry People

    My Two Pet Peeves about Ministry People

    I have two pet peeves about people in ministry:  People that take everything too seriously; and people that don't take important things seriously enough...

    On the one hand, you have people that take everything WAY too seriously.  Read the comments section on many of the posts here at MMI and they are filled with a few people that take EVERYTHING way too seriously.

    Take the post yesterday about Mark Driscoll and John Piper having fun with each other about whether or not most Christians would enjoy a new book written about the first five books of the Old Testament.  Driscoll said you'd have to be a 'uber-geek' to enjoy something like that.  Piper joked back that it would rock everybody's world to read this certain book.  Fun comments, thrown around in jest.  But some people took the jibes too seriously... pointing out that this is the problem with Christianity:  people don't dig in deep and learn things.  Point well taken.  But for crying out loud... stop taking everything single thing so seriously.  Not everything is worth climbing on your high horse about.  Lighten up.

    On the other hand, you have others who don't take important things seriously enough.  To this type of person, everything will work its way out in due time.  There's no need to be charged up about anything.  No need to measure effectiveness.  No reason to challenge the status quo.  Truth is, there are some things worth fighting for.  There are people who are depending on us to make good solid decisions.  And as church leaders, we need to step up and get the job done, with excellence and expediency on the things that do matter.

    I know what you're thinking (because I'm thinking the same thing myself).  How do I differentiate between the person who is taking things way too seriously and the person who is not taking things seriously enough?  And what makes me think that I am the one that can discern the proper balance?  I mean, obviously, I would hope that I would be one of the balanced ones, but maybe I'm the one out of whack. 

    Here's one way that I try to discern what I need to be serious about:  Was Jesus serious about it?

    I mean... what was Jesus serious about? Because that's what I want to be serious about.

    Saving the lost?  Yep.  Carpet color or worship style?  No.  Making disciples?  Yes.  Arguing about money or service times?  Not so much.

    Maybe that's a question that everyone answers differently.  Maybe that's why we get caught up in useless fights that keep many of our churches stagnant and declining.

    I think it's Craig Groeschel that I heard say once that "Hell is Hot and Time is Short".

    I like that.  It puts things in a whole new perspective for me.

    For those people who take everything so seriously:  Hell is hot and time is short.  Stop diddling around, talking about things that don't matter.  Don't tread water talking Peneteuch when you should be talking Redemption.  Stop taking everything that doesn't even matter so dang seriously.  Enough already.

    To those people who don't take things seriously enough:  Hell is hot and time is short.  We don't have all day to do the important things.  In fact, we don't know how much time we have left to reach the people we're charged to reach.  When it comes to the things that Jesus took seriously, we had better dad-blambed take them seriously as well.  Enough.  Get on with the work.

    What do YOU think?  Have I jumped off the deep end?  I'd love to hear your comments.


    PS -- What are the 'important' things to you?  And what 'non-important' things have gotten you off track?  What are your ministry pet peeves?





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    1. Christopher Fontenot on Sat, November 14, 2009

      Christianity is serious.  People are dying in their sins and Christians in America are “too serious?”  Are you SERIOUS?  Let’s tell the fireman to NOT TAKE HIS JOB TOO SERIOUS; or the surgeon; or the daycare worker….Christianity is not a social club.  We have a job to do and being entertained is not it.  Let’s quit going to retreats and start advancing instead.  Let us win souls by faithfully spreading the Gospel. If we focus outwardly then all the petty “peeves” of Christianity in America disappear.

      Yeah! I take ministry seriously.  How can I lighten up at the thought of eternal judgment for those I fail to (or worse, refuse to) tell of the unspeakable grace of our Savior.

    2. eb on Sat, November 14, 2009

      First of all, good thoughts on the original post. 
      Secondly, I am only through the first page of comments and they are variously hilarious and thoughtful.  That’s why I love coming here.  Iron sharpening iron and a hoot to boot. smile
      Blessings In Christ, ya’ll~

    3. Jan on Sun, November 15, 2009

      I think you are right on target here, Todd.

      My pet peeve, people who try to spiritualize the trivial, and their personal preferences.

      Actual true example “Everyone knows I’m a woman of prayer and so it’s obvious that I pray more than the rest of you.  God told me that we need to use the pink carpet that we have.”

      (Donated HOT pink carpet from a resort trash bin.)

    4. Jud on Sun, November 15, 2009

      -people in ministry who place being liked at or near the top of their priorities.

      -people in ministry who rank people and value them accordingly (money, power, prestige, fame, personality, looks)

      -people in ministry that spend a significant about of time schmoozing the blogosphere and going to conferences but don’t have time to minister in their own ministry and send out (pity me) signals of stress all the time.

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