A refuge from bad religion…

18 02 2011

I meet with A LOT of people. I’ve been meeting with all sorts of different individuals fairly consistently for the last 4 years and I remember a lot of the conversations. Most of the time I don’t remember exactly what is said or discussed but I could give you an overall theme of the meeting.

About 3 months ago I met with someone that said something I will remember for a while. I was interviewing a potential volunteer staff and began to talk to her about her past experiences in a different church. At Cornerstone, we hear a lot about people who are recovering and healing from what someone else on my staff calls “church crap”. Actually, as we discuss our Core Values at Cornerstone I think this may be a huge part of it. Our leaders are constantly explaining that “We (Cornerstone Fellowship) are a refuge of healing for people who have been hurt by bad religion.”

Well this person was definitely recovering from “church crap” and “bad religion”. As she explained her experiences and hurt from a previous church/pastor she made the following statement:

“Some pastors don’t have enough charisma to be cult leaders so they become pastors.”

I was a little taken back by this statement, to say the least. After she said what she did, she quickly pointed out other pastors she has met who are great leaders and are doing exactly what God has called them to. However, the statement she made sat with me for a while and as I reflected on it and thought through it a bit I realized a few thing I am thankful for.

1) I’m thankful to be a part of a healthy church. Cornerstone is definitely a refuge of healing for people who have been hurt by bad religion. Our staff and our congregation are filled with people rehabbing from past church injuries and when you become a part of this family there is a definite sense of peace and restoration.

2) I’m thankful for the pastors and leaders throughout my life that have sought God’s heart and will as they lead. I feel privileged to know extraordinary pastors and leaders that live their lives as humble servants. They have surrendered their lives to God and unceasingly allow God to work through them. I was raised by pastors like this, I was mentored by pastors like this, and I get to work with pastors like this on a daily basis.

3) I’m thankful for the opportunity to change that perception. Everyday I understand more and more the responsibility we have as leaders and pastors. God is doing incredible work in the Church today and it is happening through selfless, humble, and faithful leaders and I hope we continue to allow God to lead through us and move closer and closer to the shepherds described in 1 Peter 5:2-4.

“Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” John 7:18

“Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.” Psalm 119:36

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Envy

2 12 2010

This is from something I wrote months ago.  I was in a rough spot at the time…

Envy and jealousy are a part of me. They are something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I want to be noticed, included, recommended and invested in like everyone else I know.  Maybe I’m not the type of person that they want to talk to. Maybe I don’t have any thing to add to them. Maybe I am really worried about my self worth.

I think that is probably what it comes down to. That or pride. I think recognition is vital. When individuals are recognized, they feel like they are doing a good job. The weird thing is that even if the people I want recognition or approval from were to give me what I wanted, I think they would be pretty annoying to me. Why is it that I feel like I need to be recognized? Can I not find my worth in God? Why is that so difficult for me?

Humility and wisdom are the things that I desire, but sometimes I want the humility and wisdom because someone else has it and I want to be better than them. I’m a messed up individual that has some serious struggles. I don’t spend enough time with God talking about what we are doing together because I don’t include him in what I’m doing “for Him.” Disgusting.

God help me to focus on you more. Thanks for using me in the midst of my imperfections. I’m sorry I do these things, help me to be better. You are in control of my life, it is yours and I want to die to my sin daily. Give me wisdom and understanding because it is what we desire for me. Guide me as I try to stop comparing myself to others. I love you God and I’m thankful for where you have me right now. Thanks for what you are doing at this church and allowing me to be a part of it. Amen.