24 May, 2006

Weening the Kids

My 12 year old daughter will be getting up in about 2 hours (2:15 AM) to leave for a trip to New York where she will sing at Carnegie Hall. She is so excited, but earlier tonight she came and crawled up in my lap and said, "I sure wish you were going with me." It is a scary thing, to send your child to New York without her parents, but she will be fine. It reminded me of a conversation we had on Monday. When I picked her up from school that day I was playing a tape I found from 11 years ago at a church where I pastored. A man that I dearly loved was singing a song on that tape and she was asking me about him, as he died not long after the day he sang that song. A short while later she said to me, "Dad, what would I do if you or mom ever died? I could not take it." I talked with her and told her that if the Lord tarried his coming, that day would surely come. She said, "No, not if I died first. I don't want to live without you and mom." A long conversation ensued after that, which I won't go into right now, but it is that statement that I want to build on for today's post.

When I gave this post the title I did, I was not referring to my children, but to my church members. Confused?
Hold on and let me try to explain.
There is an interesting thing that develops in churches that must be overcome, and is not as easy to overcome as it sounds. The thing is, people in the church get to where they rely on the pastor for so much, that they will just about not do anything unless the pastor is there.
For example... I have been trying to find someone to help with doing work around the church, to clean gutters, to mow grass, and so on. Someone recently volunteered to cut the grass, but when the time came for them to cut the grass, when they saw that I was leaving, they did not want to do it. They did not want me to cut it, but they did not want me to leave them. Heck, if I have to spend the day watching someone cut the grass, then I might as well hop on the mower and cut it myself! This is not an isolated incident. In my church, I have tried to get someone to do various things from changing light bulbs, change light fixtures, bolt down a safe, wire up a computer in the kids church, paint walls, shampoo carpets, and on and on and on... but the sad fact is, these jobs do not get done, and will not get done unless I am there to lead someone in doing it. The same type thing often happens with prayer meetings, Bible studies, and so on. People will volunteer to lead them, however... they expect pastor to be there, or they don't want to do it. Now this is not always the case, for there are some who will jump in there and do things... but most of the time, pastor or pastors family must lead the way. The funny thing is, people will often accuse their pastor of not releasing others to do things.... when the reality is we are just dying for someone to step up to the plate and go for it!
We need workers.
We need teachers.
We need people who are bold enough to take off and run and dare us to try to keep up with them.
The truth is, if pastor must be involved in every activity, then not many activities will ever get off the ground. There is only one pastor, but there are many in the congregation. If others would begin to run, to soar, to try new things, it would free up pastors to do so much more that they need to do and give them much more energy to do those things!

Those in my church... I dare you to try something on your own.
If you read this and are attending another church... I guarentee your pastor is waiting for the same thing!
If you don't think so, just ask him.


Deborha's Palm Tree said...

WoooooooHooooo! You go Pastor! Thanx for being who you are!

Sylvia said...

It may not be that they do not want to help.I think there are people who would do stuff but they are not sure how to go about it.Maybe someone does not think they know the bible like they should to teach our kids in Sunday school.But would like to try.They may be afraid of messing up,or someone getting mad at them for doing it wrong.They do not want to get their toes steped on.(It may hurt).

Darrell said...

Good point Sylvia... but this is part of the process of "weening the kids". They have to step up to the plate and take their cuts. A person can stand and watch antoher person hit ball after ball out of the park, but they will never learn to hit one for themselves until they stop watching and give it a try. And yes, they will fail. In baseball, the best of the best hitters fail nearly 70% of the time. But they are successful the other 30% and this is what seperates a 10 Million dollar player from a fan in the stands... they are not afraid to fail!
Especially when we are in Christ and doing something for his glory... we are not really failing... unless we don't try or we quit. When my children learned to walk, they fell down... ALOT! But they got back up and did it again, and again and again... and now they very seldom fall. They learned to walk... then run. It is the same in Christ. We have to be willing to try.

Ready to step up to the plate anyone?

Neil said...

Well, I'm about to ween mine, you're sending off for few days...we're leaving ours for two weeks and leaving the country! Think about this, no phone to call me on, limited internet, and we're 7,000 miles from home...guess they'll have to work it out!

Amazing thing about churches, sometimes until they have to do it they won't! I think that there are several variables in this: 1) They've been taught that this is what they pay the preacher for; 2) They've never been allowed to do it; 3) When they do it they are criticized for not doing it right; 4) They simply don't see the need.

Deborha's Palm Tree said...

I said..."Put me in coach several years ago when everyone else was "waiting for the Pastor to release" them. I made many mistakes in my zealousness. However, God in His sovereignty showed Himself faithful to begin to complete the work that HE BEGAN in me. I can only speak for myself here. Sometimes, we just have to step out, as you have said, take the position, and swing the bat! The excuse that I have heard many times is "I just don't feel lead in that". Someone said what is it going to take a "pipe across the back of the head in order to feel lead". Perhaps this is where 'Nehemiah' comes in Pastor. Nehemiah was a great organizer and delegator. He delegated the work of 'rebuilding the walls'. He assigned people to the work that was closest to ' where they live'. For a very valid reason. We tend to do a better job when we are defending and rebuilding something that is closest to us. Also, we minister out of where we live or have lived, so to speak.

I could go on and on...but, I won't for sake of space and time. My favorite book is Nehemiah and I glean much from it.

What can we do for you and your congregation Pastor? As a team we can accomplish much, unity commands God's blessing.....I meant what I published in my blog recently...if we truly are The Church, then we need to start blessing one another whether Baptist, AOG, Methodist etc.....Let's Bless the Lord!

In, through and to HIM!