Now’s not the time to lose your focus.
If there are poor among you– brokenhearted, lonely, sick, rejected, fearful, ashamed, abused, tormented (and, yes, the polar icecaps are still melting and microplastics compromising our sea life)– and all your thoughts are not for them, you’re distracted by the non-essentials.
Jesus was never distracted.
He knew his mission. He knew his cause. His focus was razor sharp.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Jesus challenged. Jesus rebuked. Jesus was a freedom fighter.
Yet, in word and deed, Jesus never harmed anyone. Ever.
The only thing Jesus offended was religious arrogance.
Jesus’ mission was not to advocate for the protection of the church.
Jesus’ mission was to send the church to sacrificially advocate for the flourishing of the world.
Jesus willingly shouldered the weight of oppression to set the oppressed free.
So, church, unravel yourself from conspiracies, from feeling threatened, and victimization.
Unravel yourself NOW.
Reclaim your mission.
Refocus your vision.
The only point you must prove– the only platform you must stand upon– is Jesus.
"On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand."
A word to pastors…
Your job is not to protect your church. That’s God’s job. Act with wisdom. Pray for discernment. Do everything you can to lead it well. But, be careful not to give yourself power you simply do not have.
Your job is not to ensure stellar resources, programs, and beautiful buildings to gather in. We all know these are cultural constructs, albeit helpful for discipleship, but, nope, not your job.
Your job is not to keep everyone in your church happy. You’ll die trying. You’ll lose yourself. So, stop, now.
Your job is not to make any promises to your church that you have no power to keep. The only promise you can legitimately make to your church is that God loves it and is for it.
Your only job… your O.N.L.Y. job… is to model Christ by bathing the church and guiding the church in sacrificial love.
Within your church, rush to be the first one to lay your life down for the wholeness of others.
If the next step you are about to take is not a humble one, please… just don’t.
Pastor, now’s the time to take your church by the hand and show them Jesus.
Assure them of the power and authority of the crucified and risen Christ in all seasons and circumstances.
Pursue their restoration and wholeness.
Remind them that they matter.
Show them what is still broken and urge them to go heal it together.
And let that be enough.