To Whom It May Concern,
Please know, first and foremost, I do love you. I love you with the love that Christ has called us to….
- I love you because a friend loves at all times. (Proverbs 17:17).
- I love you because Christ loved first. (1 John 4:19).
- I love you because I believe in you and want to support you. (Proverbs 27:17).
However…..I cannot chase you anymore.
I want to, but I can’t.
Some of you are small fish, and frankly, I’m just kind of tired of chasing small fish.
My mind is constantly trying to keep up with you (chase you), figuring out a way to GET you to church (as if getting you through the church doors is going to make my game of “Chase” any easier). I am constantly talking about you, stressing over you, worrying about you, worrying about our job because of you….and frankly, I’m just tired.
Small fish tend to be a distraction to those who have been “called” into ministry (in a specific leadership role) because they hold us back, pulling us away from the path that is in front of us. It’s almost as if it’s “one step forward, two steps back” when we try to chase you.
So, why do I do it? Why does anyone do it?
- Maybe it’s a lack of self-esteem (my own)
- Maybe it’s the numbers in ministry that the Church (big “C”) seems to be obsessed with.
- Maybe it’s the idea of pleasing others that has us so wrapped up in getting YOU to get involved and invest.
No matter the reason, the only thing we end up doing is wasting a tremendous amount of energy in accomplishing something that will never be complete. I cannot make you love Jesus. I cannot make you invest. I cannot make you get involved. I cannot make you see that Christ has called us to serve one another. I cannot make you understand that your relationship with Christ is the #1 most important thing that matters.
- Not work
- Not softball
- Not camping
- Not visiting grandma
- Not seeing the latest movie
- Not going to the grocery store
NOTHING is more important than your relationship with Jesus Christ……and your relationship with Jesus Christ CANNOT grow without being with and being around other believers. Those who love you, care for you, support you, pray for you, and want to fellowship with you.
And until you figure that out, I’m sorry, but I can’t chase you….
I have to trust God. Trust God that He knows what He’s doing. I trust Him, so I hand you over to Him. I have to be secure in knowing what God has called me to do in my ministry and my relationships.
I want to invest in those who, no matter what, are excited to support our vision, our direction, and have joined us in the journey to God’s path which is right in front of us. I want to place my time and energy into those who with swim WITH ME and who share the same passion and commitment to God and to the church (little “c”).
Looking at the Scriptures (and the life of Jesus) we see that Jesus didn’t chase small fish.
- In the face of his accusers He remained silent (Matthew 27:12).
- To Pilate he gave a simple answer (John 19:11a).
- To the religious leaders he gave a rebuke (Matthew 23:2-7).
- In the face of those who didn’t welcome His followers, He told His disciples to not waste their time and to leave (Matthew 10:14).
But to those who grasped His vision, grasped who He was, He became their leader. He poured into them, loved them, empowered them, and sent them out to duplicate the pattern. He refused to chase the small fish. He refused to expel the energy to change the minds of people He knew didn’t get it and—wouldn’t. I know this seems contrary to what we think of Him, but the truth is He left the small fish alone and focused on the ones that would swim with Him.
An excellent article written by Thom Rainer was posted earlier this week (how appropriate) and I think he “hit the nail on the head.”
“But many of them (the Millennials) are walking away from our churches, and more of them are not attending at all, when they witness or hear about negativity and divisiveness in those churches. They want to see unity among Christians, and they are often disappointed.” -Thom Rainer (and I believe you cannot be unified if you’re NOT there)…..
I’ve said it before…..
“If Jesus was a….pastor in today’s church, He would probably be fired because He spent three years discipling twelve people, one of which fell away from the faith. Jesus was truly the talk of the town…..but He wanted no recognition. He knew that the twelve (really, the eleven) would one day be the foundation of a force that swept the world….”
Shortly before He went to the cross, Jesus told His followers these words: “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 HCSB).
That’s what is important to the Millennials.
And more importantly, that is the command of Jesus Himself.
So, my point is this.
- I love you.
- I support you.
- I want to be there for you.
But….I’m not going to chase you.