The Dukes of Pastoring

I can change a flat tire correctly in about 7 minutes or less.

I used to watch the Dukes of Hazard every day (the original tv show, not the more recent mistake). And one thing I remember was that the Duke boys seemed to always get flat tires. I would hold my breath as the police were catching up to them and they would pull, from a seemingly endless collection of jacks and spare tires, the needed supplies and would have the tire changed within 45 seconds. (Just in time to jump over a river to safety – whew!) I was entertained.

Later, I began working for Western Auto. My mom got me the job and I was horrible at it. I mopped, put together bikes, and changed flat tires. I was too scrawny to lift the tires by myself. It took forever. Someone came and helped me every time. Eventually, I was “let go”. Probably because I put more sugar in my coffee than I did coffee, but the tire thing could not have helped…

But I learned some things from Western Auto: how to adjust brakes on any bike, how to mop without leaving dirt streaks on the floor, and how to line up the lugs with the tire before the tire got too heavy.

I can change a flat tire correctly in about 7 minutes or less. Not because of the Dukes of Hazard, because of Western Auto.

I have recently been introduced to the difference between a pastor that entertains you and a pastor that challenges you.

Entertaining pastors have talent and training. (Caiaphas)
Challenging pastors have heart and the Spirit of God. (John the Baptist)

Oh how I wish I was an entertaining pastor. My life would be so much easier. I would be so much more popular, and rich… certainly rich. No complaints after a sermon. No problem preparing. Much less time needed in prayer. But I have no talent, I have no training.

All I have is the Spirit.

Do yourself and your pastor and the Church a favor. The next time you go to church, walk up to your pastor (especially if it is me) and promise him that this is your last time in church – UNLESS he begins to teach you how to change a tire. (spiritually speaking) You cannot go with a flat tire.

Jesus, please remove the guilt from me. I have strived too much to entertain Your people for the sake of my ego and not nearly enough for the purpose of Your glory. Allow me just a breath of the fresh air that is Your Spirit. Let me see that car jump!

pluck it out

This young mother sat next to me on the gondola and told me why she was leaving her church. She began by telling me how incredible the church is: the great youth program, sound doctrine that she really got into, a small group that was thought provoking, even great coffee at the door.

She was leaving all this because she joined a gym. Not just any gym, but the same gym where her pastor was a member.

I had to ask, “Is he overweight?” She said he was, but that was not the problem. The problem was, “He likes to look at the ladies.”

“Oh.”… That was the wisdom I added to the conversation.

Now, I get it. I understand that not everyone can Job 31:1 (look it up). I know that there are temptations all over the place, and if they are not disgusted at you because you like to look at the ladies, then they are probably disgusted because you don’t mow your yard correctly, or because of the way you drive (I’m talking to you, Tree). We have to work harder and rise! Rise and be a light!

But here is my question for the pastors in the world: When is the last time they accused you of looking at Jesus too much?

Isn’t it time that we heard about some pastors being fired because they kept on talking about Jesus.

I worked in a church once where a prominent leader aggressively corrected me for going to youth birthday parties and turning them into Bible studies. He said, “You don’t have to ALWAYS talk about Jesus.” That was twenty years ago. What about today?

Lord, I want to be a pastor that is condemned for my love of You. I want to be accused of holding Your hand too much; of sneaking away for prayer time too often. I want to forget about the rest of the world because of the King in my heart.

I want them to say, “He likes to look at God!”

“…If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…” John 15:20

Misunderstood dragons

There is a growing number of misunderstood dragons and witches.

It seems to me that every time I turn on a kid’s tv show or read a child’s fairy tale book, I find this: The hero does not have to slay the dragon or break a spell or sacrifice life to win the day…

No, the hero simply has to build up the self-esteem of the confused witch. The prince pulls the thorn out of the dragon’s tail and says, “Oh, this is why you have been so mad.”
The princess helps the green sorceress overcome her anger by showing her how to smile and… eternal winter turns back to summer.”

There is no real evil, and nothing to scare my kids (and maybe that is good???), but here is what I miss: The power of the king’s sword. The life-changing, no, life-GIVING kiss.

Gone, it seems, are the days when the princess only had one option: the prince.
All of the dwarfs and all of the fairies and everyone in the kingdom tried everything they could think of, but in the end the princess dies – until the prince arrives with that kiss.

I fear that we may have forgotten that there is evil in our world. An evil that government will not be able to fix.
There is a dragon’s hate that will burn us until it is plunged through with a sword.
There is sin, and it is more than simple low self-esteem.
I see it in my heart, and I’ll bet you see it in yours.

I do not want my kids to be afraid, but here is the truth: I do want them to look for the Prince.

Why do we water down the hatred? Are we afraid that the Prince will not be strong enough to save us?

He is Jesus!
He lasts the long winter of my soul.
He cuts the dragon into little pieces and makes barbecue.
He pulls the sword out of the stone (and He is the only one that can).
He pours water on the witch, then calls down enough fire to burn through her, then beheads her, then eats her candy house at the after party.

Snow White did not hear the prince coming – because she was asleep – but we all knew he was on the way.

This is no little thorn; it is mediocrity.
This is no lack of smile; it is watery faith.
Jesus, come rescue me from this sleep.