One of the things that happens when you become a pastor or leader, especially when you go full time, is that the things of God can become mundane. When you see the sick healed every weekend, the novelty wears off. When you do church every week, and a couple of new people come every week, and the church is growing every week – it can get a bit mundane. It becomes normative, and what is normative is rarely exciting any more.
Even sharing the Word of grace and seeing lives changed and transformed becomes “the day job”.
I used to see that feeling as something to avoid at all times – and I think that is the attitude most charismatics have. So they try and make things novel all the time, always looking for the new thing, the new fix, the new source of revelation. That is why you have churches going loony tunes over angel feathers, tiny diamonds appearing out of “nowhere” – even though people have been caught time and time again planting these things. This is why there are fads like barking like a dog and having gold teeth (give me gold in the bank, Lord – not in my mouth). That is why the drunken like crazy dimension of the grace movement is so attractive to people. People get bored so easily.
That is why some grace teachers are now bringing the most outlandish “revelations” to people. When they first taught the complete work it was so radical and so fresh as people suddenly realized their entire lives were built on the foundation of the sand of their effort, their blood, their tears, their sweat. Then they found out they could build on the rock of His effort, His blood, His tears and His sweat. They found the rest of the Lord and their lives were dramatically changed.
Once people are on that foundation – there isn’t much more dramatic change. You are just building, one brick at a time. An understanding of grace here, a key of how to apply it to marriage there, a piece of wisdom on how to worship: it’s all brick by brick, line upon line, precept upon precept. It’s the lifelong task of seeing total life transformation by the renewing of the mind.
And that process is repetitive, and it can often seem very mundane. That is why our flesh seeks to replace that process with livelier, more sensational processes like getting zapped by the latest speaker on the circuit, getting drunk on the glory, getting high on the Most High, barking like a dog and clucking like a chicken, and having a burn night where you shout at God all through the night. All of those processes have two things in common: they are sensational and they bypass the seed of the Word of God.
If you bypass the seed, you then totally bypass the harvest. It’s that simple. There is no life transformation except by a regular diet of the Word. When we come to a Celebration service, it should be to get equipped.
As a leader, as a pastor, your job in life is to equip people to do the works of ministry. You cannot do this without teaching the Word. You cannot do this without sowing the seed of the Word into their hearts. The people might be after something sensational (which, by the way is a direct synonym for carnal. Both mean to be driven by what you see and feel), but you have to be the leader and give them something real, not something that is phoney. You need to give hope, not hype; life not just stimulation (Onan died for doing that in the Old Testament, that’s a preaching illustration of the dangers of stimulating the church without providing seed if ever there was one – I dare you to preach it!); and something that works on Monday not something that simply takes their mind off Monday.
You have to lead. Don’t make your service this weekend “never a dull moment” – get the Word into people, make declarations, lift your voice and teach the Word.
In Jeremiah 18, Jeremiah is told by God to go to the potter’s house (it’s in verse 1-3), and watch the potter make a pot with the potter’s wheel. For those of you who are city dwellers (and who haven’t seen Ghost), the potter’s wheel is simply a small table that rotates in a circle. You put a lump of clay on the wheel and spin it around again and again and again and again. Every time you spin the clay around you make small changes to it, until it eventually takes shape as a vessel that has use.
That is our task this weekend, to take the people coming to our services and spin them around that wheel and see their lives take shape. It might not be exciting or dynamic – it might be, don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is absolutely life changing – but it is the way to build a church, it is the way to live your life.
Don’t get upset if you feel that you are going around in circles – every time you spin around you are learning a little, growing a little, changing a little, developing a little. Don’t run from the mundane, overcome it by embracing it and using it to shape your life and shape the lives of the people around you.