About a month ago I was asked by someone whom I mentor and who helps to lead a church I currently work with: “What do you currently do that by the end of 2014 you no longer want to be doing?” That is a good question. It was one that I believe is a “God question.” I have taken that question seriously and have been thinking about it daily since I was first asked it. Not a day has gone by that I have not thought about it. When I turn my iPhone on in the morning (which I do as soon as I wake up – even before my first coffee) the question is there on the screen. The calendar for every day has the question recorded in bold letters at the top of the daily schedule.
What do I do now that, by the end of 2014, I no longer want to be doing? Well, this is something I have been more than thinking about – I have been praying about it. It is a question that I believe is directly from the heart of the Lord to me. Added to the question is a spiritual sense that a number of things are about to change and that much that is now so much a part of my routine will soon not be on my schedule or agenda. I have been sensing a major move spiritually, relationally and in other ways. A major life shift. I am even considering a physical move to facilitate what is happening and will be happening in the spiritual realm.
Add to this that last Sunday (the first Sunday in February) was the 33rd anniversary of the local church I founded and of which I am still a part of. Add to this an increasing demand on my trans-local ministry; add to this the need to make some major changes so that I can fulfill some recent prophetic words over my life; add to this a hunger to see something significant happen spiritually in His Church in North America; add to this a dissatisfaction with what I see as Church today; add to this too many self-centered believers who are content, satisfied, safe, secure (or, at least, think they are), wealthy (by most of the world’s standard), and who are not serious about God or the task of the Church to go into all the world and seek and save the lost; add to this people who don’t worship in spite of coming to a worship service – and you have a receipt for some massive changes.
This is what I know – that I am no longer willing to walk with those who are “playing church.” Those who say they believe and love Jesus but don’t obey Him – and so are not praying for the lost nor talking to them about Jesus. I am no longer willing to walk with those who enjoy being among the top 5% of the world’s population when it comes to income and spending power but refuse to tithe. I am tired of a self-serving people who come to get and not to give. People who claim to believe in God but live like He does not exist. Believers who are picking and choosing what they want to believe and discarding whatever they find uncomfortable or not to their liking. People who never say “thank you” and apparently take the Church and all those who do things without pay and without thanks totally for granted. Like they deserve to be served and we should be honored to be allowed to serve them.
My biggest “I am fed up with” would be the people who take up my time and yet don’t tithe and are not making even a decent offering let alone a substantial one – yet want you there to answer their texts, pray with them, teach them, lead them, run the administrative side of things, have coffee with them and listen to their issues and concerns, disciple them, mentor them, and come up with a powerfully good sermon weekly. They expect you to do all this and somehow magically come up with the funds needed to both run the Church that they are a part of and benefiting from as well as feed and care for your family in the right, Christian manner – yet never wondering how you are to pay all your bills on time and in full. In fact, not even having a concern about it at all.
So, I could go on and on but the blog is long enough. The question I am pondering and prayerfully considering: What do I now do that I don’t want to be doing at year-end 2014? Answer: Care for thankless, disobedient, rebellious, self-centered, me-focused, demanding, consumer Christians who are not taking seriously God’s Word, are not maturing in any way that can be noticed, who ignore most if not all of God’s commands in the New Testament, don’t really care about others, have not won anyone to The Lord in years, come to church when they feel like it (or attend religiously every Sunday), give if there is some left over after the speciality coffees are bought for the home Keurig, and having given little to nothing – demand a lot.
And I am not waiting until the end of 2014 to remove the burden of this form of babysitting and playing church from my life. I didn’t sign up for this. It is not part of the call of God on my life. I am not interested in wasting more time in this arena. It is time for me, at least, to get on with the work of the Kingdom. And, that is exactly what I am planning to do.