I’ve noticed that a lot of pastors (me included) seem to put a disproportionate amount of weight upon the opinions of the ‘already convinced.’
Now don’t get me wrong—obviously, in any purposeful, godly, biblical church the leadership had better be, ‘already convinced.’ But I’m not talking about those who became convinced that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life and therefore, have yielded their lives to Him—that’s just Christianity 101.
No, I’m referring to those who became convinced at one point but never really grew past that moment of rebirth. Spiritually speaking, they remain in the crib wallowing in their self justifying jaundice as the sanctimonious spiritual saints they so badly want to be perceived as.
Why would we ever give these vision-highjackers the time of day?
Fact is, every pastor does it to a point. Until…
Usually there’s one straw too many and finally the camel’s back can take no more. You usually can’t pin down what it was, but you know when it was.
- “We need more hymns!”
- “There is too much of a focus on the lost at this church!”
- “We need deeper teaching!”
- “Pastor, many of us have some concerns…”
- I noticed ‘A’ and ‘B,’ therefore, you must be ‘C’
And round and round we go. I’ve heard all of the above hundreds of times—and a whole lot worse too. But one day (and I can’t tell you exactly when it was) I’d heard enough. I don’t even remember who said it, but I do remember seeing these people clearly as though I’d always seen them previously through some sort of spiritual fog.
But when the cloud lifted I knew one thing as sure as I’ve ever known anything.
These religious relics do very little (read here: ‘nothing’) to further the mission and purposes of God’s church. And worse, they do plenty to thwart it!
Fact: The religious community’s opinion of Jesus was almost always bad. Oh sure, there was always the occasionally, Nicodemus in the group, but he was by far the exception rather than the rule.
Fact: Seekers loved Him!
The lost knew He had the answers to life’s most frustrating and hopeless dilemmas. And their opinions mattered most to Jesus. Those were the ones He came to seek and to save—the common man with common struggles and temptations.
So, I am ever interested in whether I am effective in reaching the lost and the de-churched, unchurched, anti-god, hopeless and down and out. If I’m going to reach them, they need to know I care. And not just know, but ‘be utterly convinced,’ so that they will allow me to share Jesus with them and Him to save them.
At least that’s the word on the street.