One of the slightly annoying things about having teenagers in the house is that they have this tendency to walk into a room, turn the radio on loud to a station they like, and then leave the room.
So with Nickelback playing in the background, I dozed off thinking about some thoughts from this book...
"A church organization nearly always takes on an existence of its own and begins to exist for its own sake."
"The institution makes us feel safe, secure, and sufficient. It gives us status, position, reputation, security, and identity."
"They turn a fellowship of believers into a business. Like corporations, they are management-based, profit-oriented, success-driven, client-friendly, program-focused, image-concious, and headed by a charismatic personality."
"Paul illustrated that all members of the body have a function. Nowhere does he remotely suggest that we are to get a private, non-profit corporation, name it, and solicit funds for it so we can be who we are in the body of Christ."
"The one with a ministry feels obligated to set up the playground in which we can play church, so that he can lead the rest of us in playing church."
"If the minister does not see himself as one among the bride of Christ, he will rape the bride by using her to increase himself."
"...these are the shepherds who seek to increase themselves in power, position, riches, and domination at the expense of the saints."
"Preeminence is that air of self-importance that makes them want to be top dog in the system, to sit on the platform in bishop's chairs, marking a difference between them and the people."
"They are preoccupied with building a kingdom for self rather than building the Kingdom of God. They build church systems and church buildings rather than people. Worse yet, they confuse the one for the other."
Like I said, a little radical.
However, now I have this weird mental connection going on between the song Big Rock Stars and some of the things I read and hear about church.
My husband was talking about the
"Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
live in hilltop houses, driving 15 cars..."
It doesn't get any better when I get on the internet and read blogs. At this point, I could give you 100's of links to excesses and abuses within the church that I've read about just this week. Do I really need to? You know what I'm talking about.
"And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and
today's who's who
They'll get you anything
with that evil smile
Everybody's got a
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar..."
When I read of extravagance and entitlement, I hear this song. When I read of self-importance, celebrity pastors, and one-man-show mega-ministries, I hear this song.
"Well we all just wanna be big rockstars
Live in hilltop houses driving 15 cars..."
Then I read the stories of those who have chosen a different path, who have chosen a journey toward insignificance and service, and I am encouraged that not everyone wants to be a big rock star. Many of these heroes are in my blogreader.
I know that we all get discouraged at times. We struggle with embracing an opposite value, living under the world's judgment that we really are insignificant, fighting our own demons of both insecurity and pride.
Yesterday, in his post I'm Okay With Small, Dan included this story about a little boy and a starfish. I had not heard the story before. It was encouraging to me, so I would like to share it with you. Be sure to read Dan's post also. You will be blessed.
"A person was walking the beach one morning and noticed a boy bending down, picking something up, and throwing it into the ocean as far as he could. Over and over he did it.
As the observer came closer he saw thousands of starfish the tide had brought onto the beach. The tide had receded and they would eventually die, so the boy was throwing them back into the water - one at a time.
The man finally says, "Son, there must be thousands of starfish. You'll never be able to get to all of them. You can't possibly make a difference."
The boy smiled and continued to pick up another starfish and toss it into the water. "It made a difference for that one," he replied."