10 Things I learned this weekend

Obviously, I wasn’t paying enough attention at our leadership retreat this weekend, since one of the sessions was titled “11 Things God does for Church Leaders” and I only learned 10 things, but I learn in obscure ways, and some of what I learned wasn’t even about church leadership. Some of it was about being a human being and some of it was about relationships, and, well, just read on:

The chapel where we held worship

1) More pastor’s wives commit adultery than pastors do. We remember the stories when pastors flame-out big time, but this is the reality. We ask a lot of our pastors. We ask them to be at the church all the time, participate in all our meetings and pray and read the Bible while they’re at home. We should, and probably do, pray for them that they will find strength to deal with all the church politics and crud we, the congregation, throw at him (or her), but do we pray for the spouse? Do we pray for their children? Are we, in short, ministering to their whole family?

2) I have accused God of abusing me. I have whined about doing too much, that God is asking too much of my time. He’s not abusing me. He wants to spend time with me. If your boyfriend or girlfriend or sister or brother or best friend were asking to spend more time with you, were asking you to come over to their house to share a meal, were asking you to help promote their non-profit, would you see it as abusive? I did. And now I don’t.

3) I don’t read the Bible the right way. I’ve been reading so that I think I know what God wants to say. I’m not reading to hear from God, but in order to presume to speak for God. Ouch. That realization smacked me upside the head. I was reading with an agenda. I was reading for tag lines and bullet points. I was reading to write, not reading to hear.

4) I’m not big on Mark Driscoll, he and I don’t share a common theological viewpoint and I think some of the things he says are actually crazy, but here’s something he said that I took to heart. “We can’t save; we can’t solve; we CAN serve.” The song in the program we didn’t get to in worship this weekend was an old favorite, “Will you let me be your servant?” It’s amazing what changes in a program when leaders take that servant approach. I can’t save people and I can’t solve their problems, but, I can serve them.

5) I can’t fake much energy on little sleep. Maybe that’s not a new conclusion, but I really didn’t get much sleep, and I paid for it: my acting abilities took a direct hit. I couldn’t muster energy to participate enthusiastically in retreat stuff, until I had some of Kristie Musick’s banana cake. Which brings me to:

6) Kristie’s banana cake makes all things better. We should send this stuff to war zones and front lines and the halls of Congress. I’m pretty sure that would possibly make point 4 null and void. This banana cake might have the ability to solve serious problems in the world. I’m fairly sure it has no power to save (except for depression – this cake could end depression), but our fellow-man, no matter how odious, looks better over a slice of heaven.

7) Scripture is about multiplication, not division. We’re not supposed to remain idle. We’re not supposed to grow moss. We aren’t supposed to lock ourselves in a cage, we’re supposed to go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus didn’t hand out the 5 loaves and 2 fish, he multiplied them. He didn’t watch as the wine ran out, he made more. I also learned 7a) I’ll be coming back to this idea in a full-length post. and 7b) unity and growth are contingent upon one another.

8 ) Messiah has a future story that can work. I jokingly called our future story a fantasy, but when we started reading through it as a leadership team, we noticed that we’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit of what the story talks about. This was an endeavor led by the Holy Spirit and what was responsible for attracting the attention of our pastor. This isn’t just a pipe dream; this is our future.

9) I like the people on our leadership team. I mean it. All of them. Many of them, I did not know before this weekend, but they are a fun group. They joke around but can get down to business, and even though I was the baby of the  group, save one, I felt like I wasn’t relegated to the kids’ table (which would include me, the pastor, the music director and the church office manager – though that would be fun, too), or kept from adding my opinion. I’ve never felt that way at Messiah. I mean, if they can accept and build-up the weirdest person in church, they are ok in my book.

10) Lutherhill, in La Grange, Texas, is fun, fantastic, fresh and full of potential and life. If you haven’t donated to their campaign and are Lutheran, you might want to give it some prayerful consideration. This place was serene and scenic and sensational and I can’t wait to go back. The staff is awesome and the facilities are undergoing a massive transition. Now is the time to be a part of their environmental efforts for a cleaner campus and the brilliant work of bringing Christians together.

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10 responses to “10 Things I learned this weekend

  1. It was a great leadership retreat. I always learn a lot from other people. I kind of like Driscoll. Pastor and I have had a running discussion on whether he is Senior Pastor (my view) or Lead Pastor (his view). I guess I can buy into Dricoll’s number one promise from God: Jesus is the Senior Pastor of the church. So, Pastor wins this one. And yes, we can make the Future Story real. Thanks for the blog.

    • Mark is ok, but he seems to believe we’re in some kind of culture war for the glory of God, and I just don’t think that’s the case. He had some great things to say in the video we watched… and then I was gritting my teeth because his examples were… off, somehow.

      I was really grateful that our church made this retreat a priority and that we were able to get away and work on the priorities of the church. Thank you, Bill, for leading us. I had a great time, and probably learned more than is reflected here 🙂

  2. A great list friend, thanks for sharing your heart on all of this!

  3. “Scripture is about multiplication, not division. We’re not supposed to remain idle. We’re not supposed to grow moss. We aren’t supposed to lock ourselves in a cage, we’re supposed to go and make disciples of all nations.”

    Sorry to disagree, but number 7 which I copied above is wrong! The KJV states, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

    The end has come with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, 90AD. The end does not mean the end of the world or second coming of Jesus, etc. We are under obligation to share the gospel, but we are under no obligation to attempt to fulfill the great commission or go make disciples of all nations because that work has already been accomplished.

    • You heard it here first, people, we can all go on holiday! I think you might want to revisit the “good news” theme of the New Testament.

      “We are under obligation to share the gospel, but we are under no obligation to attempt to fulfill the great commission or go make disciples of all nations because that work has already been accomplished.”

      The above statement, for me at least, fails the sniff test. Do you really think Jesus would advocate packing it in and not trying to reach the lost? I just can’t imagine Jesus saying something like this.

  4. David,
    Yes, I revisited the Good News theme and found,
    1) In Colossians 1:5-6 & 23, Paul declared that the gospel was preached to every creature.
    2) In Romans 16:25-26, Paul said that the gospel was made known to all nations.
    3) In Romans 1:5 & 8, Paul also said that the faith of the Romans was spoken of throughout the whole world.
    4) In Acts 8:1-5 & 14& 15, the apostles went and preached the gospel to everyone.
    5) Acts2:5, 9-11 & 14, men from every nation heard Peter preach the gospel.

    and I could add others. These verses conclusively demonstrate that the Great Commission was fulfilled. I specifically wrote that WE ARE UNDER OBLIGATION TO SHARE THE GOSPEL, but our sharing of the gospel is NOT done to fulfill the Great Commission or to make disciples of all nations.

    • I think that you are just arguing semantics … I know that some have argued that the Great Commission should not be extended to the present, but it is just a means of attacking evangelical thought. If you share the Gospel, obviously you are hoping that you convert that person, share Christ’s love, make them a disciple.

      Let’s just say you have correctly interpreted the scriptures you have listed above for arguments sake. The apostles made it all the way to the Americas, much less, the far east or northern Europe in their travels? I think not. According to your logic, the Great Commission was only intended for the Near East and Southern Europe. At the basic elements, “every nation” was not achieved. So, the Great Commission not fulfilled.

      Also, the siege and fall of Jerusalem didn’t occur in 90 c.e. Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans in 70 c.e. Sorry, the historian in me.

  5. Pingback: Holy Flick « Messiah Mom

  6. “I was reading to write, not reading to hear.”

    Whoa this hits home. I’ve been, and probably to an extent still am, guilty of this one.

    Oh, and clearly I have to get myself a piece of that banana cake!

    I really enjoy your writing Kristin.

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