Early this morning I was reminded of a blog entry I wrote in the past and I went back and found. Ironically, it was written 2 years ago this week. I decided to bring it back up for to this page to be revisited. Here it is:
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.