Why we do this …

15 Dec

I’ve got to be honest about this:  There are times when it is difficult to push ahead.  But I can’t say I wasn’t warned!  I remember when I took my first job in ministry, and one of the pastors of this church looked at me and said:  “If you can be happy doing anything else, do it.”  I was puzzled by that remark, full of excitement and ready to charge Hell with a waterpistol.  Now I know EXACTLY what he was talking about.

Sometimes it really is hard to deal with what Dean Lisenby calls the 5% rule … at any given time, 5% of the people will think you can do no wrong, and ANOTHER 5% will think you can do NOTHING RIGHT.  All churches have this, whether they will admit it or not.  Ebenezer is no exception.

I remember my statistics days, and think of it as a Bell Curve:

Budget time is a very stressful time at any church.  Especially stressful when we are not meeting our yearly budget.  Honestly, we are not doing as bad as some I know (in relation to how far behind we are).  And we are not doing as well as some, who are exceeding their budget requirements.  I’ve been convinced for some time now that MONEY is not the problem:  Our problem (and the problem at many churches) is an issue of SPIRITUAL HEALTH, and once we get that started on the healing track, our financial support will fall in line where God wants it.

Getting back to the 5%, it gets a little long in the tooth when the same people say the same old things over and over, many of these things NOT favorable towards me, as a pastor, or my staff.  We are not a bunch of lazy folks who sit around all day drinking coffee and gossiping.  We each stretch to the max in our work efforts and don’t complain about it.  There are so many things unseen that are done in a week it would make your head spin!!  And we are not flamboyant about it, trying to draw attention to all of our hard work …  And sometimes, that burns us.  And we are not a bunch of money-hungry wild spenders who do nothing but spend the churches’ money with no regard for common sense or stewardship to the Lord.  In fact, you would find your church staff to be quite the opposite.  And, although there IS a 5% that loves us quite unconditionally and thinks we do no wrong (by the way, we DO make mistakes), its the other 5% and the things they say that motivated this post.

I’ve been thinking ALOT about this in the past couple of days.  And here is the truth about where we are:

We don’t do this for recognition.

We don’t do this so the 5% will get off our backs.

We don’t do this to be the most popular people in church.

We don’t seek power, control, or influence.

We don’t do this because it is easy.

We don’t do this because we couldn’t do anything else in life.

WE DO THIS BECAUSE GOD CALLED US TO IT.  WE DO THIS FOR HIM.  And, remembering those two things help me endure the barbs that come with sitting behind my desk.  They help me when I want to react angrily when someone says something ugly about my staff.  They help me when I want to be angry because someone was very ugly to a family member because of MY JOB!!

GOD helps toughen our skin and gives us a goal to focus on, so we don’t have to slow down and think about all of the junk.  So make NO mistake about this:  We are HIS, and are doing our best to FOLLOW HIM in everything we do.  And I am thankful He called me to this place!!!!

One Response to “Why we do this …”

  1. Terri Lisenby December 16, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Great post David. It is so true, some people just look for things to complain about and some are crazy enough to direct that at the church and staff. My family loves you guys and all you do for the good of EBC. Thank you!

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