Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is That My Job?

In the book, Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger, the authors tell the story of an experiment that Mr. Geiger and some friends did. They placed a fake ad on Churchstaffing.com (which is a real church staffing website) for a “Pastor of Extreme Worship Arts,” for a fictitious church in Florida. The ad read as follows.

This postmodern, gen-x church with an unknown denominational affiliation, averaging from 1001-1500 persons is seeking an exceptional leader to be our Pastor of Extreme Worship Arts. We believe the right person will be a unique fit for such a time as this. This person serves under the Senior Pastor, and will oversee all areas of worship. Candidates must embrace the Senior Pastor’s vision of aligning all people of all denominations under the same vision.

The person must also meet these requirements: Ability to infuse the TULIP [5 Point Calvinism]doctrine in all worship sets. Postmodern, Visionary, Missional leader capable of creating an ethos and apostolitic movement. Willing to find some songs written from a premillenial dispensationalist theological tradition. Desires to develop an emerging handbell choir.

Some snake handling may be appropriate (for our believers service only). Agree that the Lord is to be worshiped through magnificent attire and appropriate versions of the Bible. Demonstrate proof of a second blessing... Tongue speaking in various accents is a major plus as we are a multicultural church. Exegetically establish a movement of fluidity in the Extreme Worship Ministry. We realize that many of these requirements are personal preferences and not biblical mandates. Therefore, each candidate must be aligned with roughly 3/4 of all our requirements. (171-172)

If you are confused by the ad, you’re in good company. It was written to contradict itself. Most of the ideas “required” cannot exist with the others. The sad thing is that some people actually applied for the job with real resumes, cover letters and some even sent in DVDs of them leading worship. It is sad, according to Simple Church, because, “To apply for the position, a person would have to: (1) have no basic theological belief system that guides his/her ministry or (2) be willing to compromise his/her beliefs in order to get a ministry job.” (173)

Imagine you had to hire someone to fill your role as a Christian exactly as you currently fill it. What would the job description look like? It might go something like this. Wanted: Person to fill role as Christian. Must be able to go to worship services no more than once per month, must never take on any leadership role in the church, Pray only when in trouble, read the Bible only as needed in church. Must be available as a Christian for 1-2 hours on the Sundays that are required, and for 1 hour every third Wednesday night. Hours may vary during Easter and Christmas.”

Recently in Seattle, a parking meter officer marked a car tire at 9:30 a.m. The driver was in the car, but did not acknowledge the officer. The car was in a two-hour parking zone, so when the officer returned just after noon, a ticket was in order. However, the driver, a 36 year-old man was still in the vehicle. The officer tapped on the window but got no response. Assuming the man to be asleep, she wrote the ticket for $42.

About 12:30, the police received a call from the man’s girlfriend. Apparently he had been missing. You guessed it. The 36 year-old was dead. The report stated that the car’s sunroof was open and all the doors were unlocked. The officer could have opened the door or called for help when the man didn’t respond, but instead she simply did her job as meter reader, and moved on.

Are you living up to the job description God has given you or are you trying to just get by with the minimum? Jesus made it very simple for us. He told us to become as little children. He said to love God and love others as ourselves. Don’t simply “get by” in your faith. Work for Him daily!

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field. (Luke 10:1-2)

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