What Matters to God

I have been noticing that despite a recent vacation, I still feel somewhat fatigued.  It has taken me some time to understand why I wasn't fully rested. 

I was sharing with our pastoral team this week, that God desires us his pastors to do three things at the core of our calling:

1. Pray (Connecting with God, listening to God, and interceding for His people)
2. Reading Scripture (Understanding the revealed will of God based upon the Holy scriptures)
3. Spiritual Direction (Being aware of God's presence and desire among the people we minister with)

Eugene Peterson, in his excellent book, Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, suggests that all of these activities are a continium  that begins with being attentive to God, so that we can properly understand His will (scripture), so that we can then see that will in the lives of others. 

The focus of the pastoral call is simply connecting people with the presence and purposes of God.  Without time with God, your spiritual direction empty and generic.  Without centering on people, your time in the Word is purposeless. 

So God is calling me, and leaders of his people to remember this is about God's presence and purposes in real people. Its not about religiosity.  Its not even about the organizational church.  Its about seeing the blessings and the presence of God in and through His people.

Zechariah 7:5-6 reads:

"When you held days of fasting every fifth and seventh month all these seventy years, were you doing it for me? And when you held feasts, was that for me? Hardly. You're interested in religion, I'm interested in people.  (MSG)

When I spend most of my time on religious activities, but not remembering my purpose, I get tired
When I spend most of my time on organizational task, but not the people of God, I get tired
When I spend most of my time on Church promotion, but not the kingdom promotion, I get tired
When I spend time in the face of God, I am fully alive
When I spend time, attentive to his will through immersion in His Word, I am fully focused
When I spend time, attentive to his purposes in the people in my path, I am exhilirated.
I am encouraging all Christian leaders to remember that in the midst of all the demands for church organizational tasks, to resist the overwhelming pressure to be defined by those tasks, even if the performance of those tasks are what we get rewarded for.  Take time today to remember the Words of God through Zechariah "You're interested in Religion, I'm interested in people"
May God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor
Dr. M Traylor1 Comment