Had an interesting email exchange about integrity in ministry. This is one of the most integrous people I’ve known—yet he’s concerned about “phoniness” in his own life and in churches he’s experienced. Good to stay concerned as it’s one of our best course correctors, keeping us on the right path.
My friend focused on his own experiences as a worship leader.
He said that once he felt he was doing it for wrong reasons, he stepped down. It was then that he realized he didn’t know the words to the songs. He only knew how to play them.
Playing the Right Role
Sometimes we play a role before others that is less than what we should be doing before God. It’s easy to run events in God’s name with little input from, or concern for, him. Someone recently told me that you could run a modern church without being a Christ-follower. I think they are right and here’s why…
I’ve watched people confuse church, the called out/called together followers of Christ for a “church service.” The former is a relationship between people and the Lord. The latter is an event.
Sadly, some well-meaning folks have fallen into the trap of planting a series of weekly church services rather than plant churches. These often fail because they lack the life of Christ. Worse than that, many succeed in building a platform for human ability. Our watching world takes a dim view of event-driven Christianity. We should do the same.
Doing Church Before Doing a Church Service
Two days ago my wife and I attended the kickoff service at Aloha Church, a”new-ish” congregation in San Diego. The pastor is a friend of mine named Dru Teves.
Why I say new-ish rather than new is that these people were a church launching their first weekend service that day. During the nine months that they met as a core team they had melded into a living relationship with Jesus and others. This was most evident in their obvious love for each other. They reflected love in the five meaningful conversations I enjoyed with people I had only just met. The production values for the service were good, but took a backseat to serious worship. The choice of songs had little to do with attracting outsiders as it was focused on pleasing God. I could go on…
Integrity, the Cross and Simplicity
My point is that integrity should draw us back to the cross and to the relative simplicity of the earliest churches.
I spend much of my life trying to motivate Christ-following leaders to mobilize people to multiply church. Its best that we get down with what we mean by that six-letter word. It should suggest people who are called out of the world to minister to the world. Not to imitate it. Some of us have our people so busy supporting events that they have little time for meaningful relationships in the church and precious few with those who need us most.
You could snoop on Aloha Church by clicking on https://www.myalohachurch.com/ . Beyond that, I’d like to hear what you think about what I just wrote. Please sound off in the comments box below.