I have two pet peeves about people in ministry: People that take everything too seriously; and people that don’t take important things seriously enough…
On the one hand, you have people that take everything WAY too seriously. Read the comments section on many of the posts here at MMI and they are filled with a few people that take EVERYTHING way too seriously.
Take a recent post about Mark Driscoll and John Piper having fun with each other about whether or not most Christians would enjoy a new book written about the first five books of the Old Testament. Driscoll said you’d have to be a ‘uber-geek’ to enjoy something like that. Piper joked back that it would rock everybody’s world to read this certain book. Fun comments, thrown around in jest. But some people took the jibes too seriously… pointing out that this is the problem with Christianity: people don’t dig in deep and learn things. Point well taken. But for crying out loud… stop taking everything single thing so seriously. Not everything is worth climbing on your high horse about. Lighten up.
On the other hand, you have others who don’t take important things seriously enough. To this type of person, everything will work its way out in due time. There’s no need to be charged up about anything. No need to measure effectiveness. No reason to challenge the status quo. Truth is, there are some things worth fighting for. There are people who are depending on us to make good solid decisions. And as church leaders, we need to step up and get the job done, with excellence and expediency on the things that do matter.
I know what you’re thinking (because I’m thinking the same thing myself). How do I differentiate between the person who is taking things way too seriously and the person who is not taking things seriously enough? And what makes me think that I am the one that can discern the proper balance? I mean, obviously, I would hope that I would be one of the balanced ones, but maybe I’m the one out of whack.
Here’s one way that I try to discern what I need to be serious about: Was Jesus serious about it?
I mean… what was Jesus serious about? Because that’s what I want to be serious about.
Saving the lost? Yep. Carpet color or worship style? No. Making disciples? Yes. Arguing about money or service times? Not so much.
Maybe that’s a question that everyone answers differently. Maybe that’s why we get caught up in useless fights that keep many of our churches stagnant and declining.
I think it’s Craig Groeschel that I heard say once that “Hell is Hot and Time is Short”.
I like that. It puts things in a whole new perspective for me.
For those people who take everything so seriously: Hell is hot and time is short. Stop diddling around, talking about things that don’t matter. Don’t tread water talking Peneteuch when you should be talking Redemption. Stop taking everything that doesn’t even matter so dang seriously. Enough already.
To those people who don’t take things seriously enough: Hell is hot and time is short. We don’t have all day to do the important things. In fact, we don’t know how much time we have left to reach the people we’re charged to reach. When it comes to the things that Jesus took seriously, we had better dad-blambed take them seriously as well. Enough. Get on with the work.
What do YOU think? Have I jumped off the deep end? I’d love to hear your comments.
PS — What are the ‘important’ things to you? And what ‘non-important’ things have gotten you off track? What are your ministry pet peeves?