Thursday, January 18, 2007
I Will Follow
Matthew 4:18-20 (New International Version)
The Calling of the First Disciples
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.
Years ago. Many years ago I was put in charge of Christian Education at our former church, what you might think of as a Sunday School Superintendent. It wasn’t that I was some phenom of Sunday Schoolality so much so as the former guy kind of up and runnoft and they needed somebody but quick. I was a worker, organizer, great his girl Friday to the former guy. So it was left to me to do the job. This was my first experience with official church public speaking because I had to conduct the annual Sunday School promotions during the Sunday morning service.
Man, I was a wreck. My voice was shaky, my knees were knocking and I have no idea what I said. Happily all the little ones were successfully promoted and got their commerative pencil without injury. And I got the mother of all tension headaches and an extreme failure of anti-perspirant.
And spent a year dreading the next round of promotions.
In the meantime the youth leader also runnoft. Being that I had done such a bang-up job in handing out those pencils what had the Jesus fishes on ‘em, I became the youth leader too. Now my knees could knock, my pits could sweat and I could get the mother of all tension headaches every week.
Years passed and the promotions got easier, I even threw a little schtick in to make it more interesting. I only amused myself but it was good times nonetheless.
Then one Wednesday night our pastor got ill and being the youth leader I was called upon to simply teach the youth lesson from the pulpit. More sweat, more headache. More schtik.
Eventually I taught the women’s adult class for a summer when we studied Stormie Omartians’ The Power of a Praying Wife. Decent reviews on that run.
Then a few Sunday nights here and there I was asked to teach if there was no one else lacking a uterus and able to string three words together available.
And I started to like it. A teacher is born.
I got comfortable in my skin. Got confidant in my abilities. I was honest and blunt. Some people found it endearing, some people went to Home Depot and walked around when they found out I was teaching instead of coming to church.
And I started to love it.
Fast forward to our current church, Metrosouth (www.metrosouthchurch.com). I had no desire to teach being burned out and worn out and in nursing school. The pastor asked about my background in ministry and I told him. Also told him I was burned out and worn out and in nursing school and not interested in the business of teaching. So he asked me to do focal point here and there. Just get up in front of the church and do the announcements, welcome the people. Easy, no preparation.
And I started to miss it. I liked being back up there talking, laughing, doing a little schtick.
So I started to teach a ladies group called Problems & Promises.
Then I started to teach a life group called Live With Dean & Sara.
And all the while I’ve dreamed about the day I’d do more and more teaching until it was my full-time job. And all the while I’ve waited for Joyce Meyer to call and ask me to take over her ministry.
And this year, just this last week it occurs to me. It hasn’t happened yet. Because?
Because it won’t just happen. I’ll work for it or my life will march on status quo.
And within just a few days of this realization I’ve been slammed from all sides. Challenged by my pastor and called on some things I need to fix about my approach to ministry. Criticized by some people I don’t necessarily think have the right to criticize me. E mails, one on ones, phone calls.
All these things making me want to back away back into my shell. Away from teaching and speaking. Another year of wondering when was about to be born.
But no. It’s this year. I am building a ministry. I will teach despite the criticism. I will do the stuff I don’t want to do so I can accomplish the work I want to accomplish.
I’ve had enough of sitting in a chair aching to be the one with the microphone. I’ve had it with daydreams of doing something great for God while I hide inside of four walls.
It’s time to lay down the excuses and pick up the pace.
Buckle up satan. Here I come.