Thursday, October 8, 2009

Worthy of a Blog

Many of my blogs are just random thoughts about life and God, but this one may be different. Not that there won’t be the random interjection of my brain damaged thinking (you should see the CT scan of my head – Dr. said lots of head trauma), but my hope is that I can express what God did this last Sunday morning (October 4, 2009). And the best thing was it had nothing to do with my orchestration, but all about my abdication. Hey, there’s a novel idea… being Spirit led. How scary might that be?

All during my Saturday afternoon preparation time and my bright and early (okay groggy) Sunday morning prep time I was struggling with direction as to what I should preach. Now mind you, it wasn’t the normal “sermon block” that I was experiencing. Something was very different.

On the contrary, what I felt was as if all my gallant efforts to establish an outline and subject matter were noble, but unnecessary. That’s right noble, but unnecessary.

All too often we who stand at the sacred desk, week in and week out, somehow believe that we are a critical key to what God wants to “do” in the lives of people. How sorely mistaken we are.

The New Testament is relatively clear as to how church was done in the first century. Gathering was fundamental. Eating was usually part of the gathering. Communion and prayer were included too. Impromptu singing and psalm making were also part of the make up. And finally as the Spirit led, someone brought a Word. That’s right someone (Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Colossians 3:15-17). Not necessarily the pastor or teacher, maybe, but not necessarily.

Now here’s the amazing part. Upon arriving at church with “my” agenda for the day, a struggle ensued. I had many things that I believed were important to “say” to the congregation, but God had another idea. As I labored through my Sunday school lesson, something was cooking inside me. You know, that feeling like something was wrong – in a right way.

By the time we were all upstairs in the sanctuary, singing praises to the Lord and taking communion, I knew my agenda would be shelved. The new plan, or rather God’s plan, was to be led by the Spirit.

When the appointed time for my “sermon” came, I could not move forward. I could not initiate the things I had planned. So I did what any self-respecting neo-Pentecostal pastor should do… I did nothing.

That’s right. I took the microphone stand and a live mic and put it down in front and essentially said, with all the love and sincerity I could express… you do it. Yep, “You do it!”

Oh I gave some direction as to what I believe the Spirit was leading, but one of the most amazing moments happened in twenty years of ministry. We saw Jesus appear, we heard Jesus speak, entirely through the Body and not through an Office.

I obeyed what the Spirit had spoken to my spirit and Unity happened. Continuity flooded the place. Numerous individuals began to share and weep as to what God had been speaking to their hearts. And not surprisingly, a theme was emerging. (Hmmm… could it be The Mystery? You know the one that we’re supposed to be administrators of?)

God began to speak to us, through His Body. And the message was VERY CLEAR. I could not have planned it better and thank God I didn’t.

At the beginning of the year the Lord spoke very clearly to my heart, and I passed it along to the congregation. In essence, I was done “planning” or “casting” vision for THEM. Because in twenty years of being a pastor, I’ve set out many vision plans for many people over many years. And I’ve spent lots of energy and time trying to convince or cajole people into “doing” what I thought they should be “doing” to advance “my” vision for the church, usually to my chagrin. This year the Lord told me… “Just teach them to hear Me.”

Last Sunday was that day. It was a day when God spoke and there was continuity in Spirit and in Truth. Could I say it this way… we were all on the SAME PAGE.

My hope is that we can continue with this “Open Source” of leading, this Body inclusive leading that emanates from the Spirit alone and not from man. May God help me to yield the floor to His Body and His presence.

For all of you holding onto traditional means of leading and doing church, get ready because your paradigm is about to shift. And the only thing stopping it is YOU.

Power to His people! I’ll keep you posted.

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