8 Tips for Surviving Ministry

This was in my email this morning and it’s very good.  You may need this as much as I do!

8 Tips for Surviving Ministry

By: Dr. Roger Barrier

  1. Get rid of your messiah complex.

Behind the orange couch in our living room was as good a place as any to have a nervous break down. I called up our head counselor and said, “It’s Saturday night and I am hiding behind the couch crying. This is not normal, is it?”

“No,” he replied. “I’ve seen this coming for a long time and I’ve already made arrangements for you to talk to a Christian counselor. He’s waiting for your call.”

As we sat for our third session Jerry said, “Today we are going to talk about your messiah complex.”

“Messiah complex! I don’t have a messiah complex!”

“Don’t be so surprised. Most young ministers have one.”

A messiah complex, for our purposes, has to do with a pastor’s misunderstanding of their dreams. They dream of a large successful ministry having accomplished great work for God. The extreme might reveal it self in thoughts like these: “God has called me to win this city for Christ!”

A messiah complex may cause pastors to consider their call from Jesus so important that they are willing to sacrifice their spouses’ and children and health for the sake of the “call.”

I discovered lurking within me was an enormous messiah complex. I used to imagine when I entered Heaven God would say something like this: “Oh Roger. I am so glad you are finally here! You did things that even Moses never did!”

About the age of 40-45 most pastors begin to see that their dreams just aren’t going to come true. How they handle this moment makes all the all the difference in the world.

  1. Protect yourself.

Jesus knew the importance of boundaries: “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself” (John 6:15). The exhausted Jesus—tired from teaching, preaching and healing all day often withdrew to refresh, regroup and pray.

Bill Hybels talks often about the four gauges we must monitor: Emotional—Physical—Mental—Spiritual. When the “Check Engine” light brightens up the dash board, we don’t pull out a hammer and knock out the light. We find out what is wrong and fix it.

  1. Get your expectations in line with reality.

Early in my ministry I was going to win the world to Jesus…. When that wasn’t happening I changed my focus to winning Tucson for Jesus. Soon, I saw that I couldn’t even win my street for Jesus.

We all have expectations that we intend to live up to. Like, “Today, I am going to visit patients in three different hospitals, spend four hours in sermon prep, have two counseling sessions and make fifteen calls to church members. The truth is, that will never happen—not enough time in the day.

The distance between your expectations and reality is your frustration level. Stop trying to fix your frustration by working harder and faster. The key is to bring your expectations closer to reality. The closer your expectations are to reality, the less frustration you will have and you will be able to go home and bless your spouse and kids.

  1. Spend more time with the energizers and less with drainers.

Most people in our ministries are what I call neutrals. We know them by name and have casual conversations with them at church or in the community. They don’t really energize or drain us.

Drainers, on the other hand, can suck the very life out of us. You go to their houses for dinner at 7:00 pm and three hours later you look at your watch and it’s really 7:35! You are in the presence of drainers.

Energizers, on the other hand, bless us with companionship, encouragement, fun, and energy. You go to their houses for dinner and 35 minutes later you look at your watch and it is 11:25! Where did the time go? Your spouse says to you, as you get into the car, “Wow, that was a great night. I can hardly wait to be with them again!” You’ve just spent the evening with Energizers.

Spend time with the neutrals and a little time with the drainers; but a significant amount of time with the energizers. I have a boundary in place that allows drainers three sentences before I break in and say, “Sandy, now is not a good time. I need to talk to some others, too.” I turn to the next person and go on.

  1. Protect your children.

As my daughters grew older we made a deal. Any sermon illustration about them must first be cleared with them. Then we bargained for how much the illustrations were worth.

Pastors’ kids struggle with the God issue. Many rebel. 32% never attend church again; 32% enter the ministry thinking this is the only way God (or dad or mom) will love me. How dysfunctional is that!

I remember praying for my busy, overloaded ministry day for God to take care of my kids: “It’s only fair”, I said to Him, “I’m going to be busy with your work today so it’s not too much me to ask for You to take care of my children today.”

I distinctly heard God answer: “Remember Eli and Samuel and David. They were busy taking care of My work while ignoring their children. If I did not rescue their children what makes you think that I am going to rescue yours? The only one who can fulfill the role of father to your children is you! And, if you don’t do it, nobody else will do it either.”

  1. Protect your spouse.

My wife, Julie, hardly fit the expected role of pastor’s wife as defined by many churches of the last generation. She is extraordinarily creative, talented, musical and brilliant.

One of our staff members once said to me “You had best set her free or you will have a very angry woman on your hands in twenty years.”

I feel a divine calling from God to run interference and support her so that she can use and fulfill all the gifts and talents God has given her.

She’s played keyboards with the high school rock band in her leopard skin pants. She has three post graduate degrees in music. She’s conducted church and community concerts, taught worship at seminaries, written a text book on orchestra and musical instruments and now leads the Preach It, Teach It web site with approximately 20,000 hits per month.

I’ve stood behind her every step of the way. Freeing the pastor’s spouse to fulfill their calling is critical in ministry survival.

  1. Consider preaching expository sermons to maximize your time and effectiveness.

Too often the harried pastor struggles to decide what to preach the next Sunday. May I suggest working through the Bible paragraph by paragraph? No time is wasted wondering, “What shall I preach?” You just preach the next several verses.

There is nothing wrong with topical preaching. It has its place—it just tends to be “thin” over time.

  1. Remember the Sabbath… and take a nap

“If you have more than three ways people can get in touch with you, you are a really sick person,” said my pastor friend.

Jesus didn’t live a harried life like most of us. And we don’t have to, either. He knew just what time it was and paced Himself to arrive there just on time.

We tend to say, “Yeah, but that’s Jesus. Does God have an answer for us?” You bet He does. The answer can be summed up in two words: “The Sabbath.”

The idea is refreshment; recharge your batteries. So develop a workable plan:

  1. Take A Full Twenty-Four Hours Off Every Seven Days.
  2. Limit yourself to no more than 45 to 50 recorded hours per week.
  3. Schedule carefully so that you are at home at four nights per week.
  4. Use Compensation Days the next week when you worked more than the allotted days the previous week.
  5. Arrange for a church leader to “cover” for you on your day off.
  6. get the deacons, elders or church leaders to approve the plan.

I hope this is helpful. The goal is not just to survive but to thrive.

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In our weakness, God is made strong. In our strength, we make God’s influence in our life weak.

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Maybe God sees you differently than you see yourself

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My latest sermon

FYI – I am wearing a hat in this video due to a nice-sized wound in the center of my forehead.

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Who am I, and why do I do what I do?

I have been serving full-time in ministry as a Pastor of Worship since 1990. All but five of those years have been in Naples/Marco Island, Florida. My time has been primarily focused on worship, but not in the traditional sense. While my most visible moments are before the congregation as a whole, I spend the vast majority of my time teaching, training, and equipping others to serve in ministry. Teaching others why we praise, how we praise and whom we praise may sound too obvious, but it is not understood by many – even those who have spent decades in the church. Something as simple as really taking a look at what we are saying when we worship can bring clarity and, more often than not, make us see that we are praising our own actions or agendas.

Besides my duties in worship, I have spent many years teaching the Word of God. (there is a big difference between telling someone what the Bible says and teaching them what it says) I am fascinated by the changes in our lexicon over time. The Bible wasn’t written in “spiritual” terms, but it has been translated and somewhat modified into language that didn’t exist when it was originally written. Because of that, I love studying exactly what the original Word said and how those often misquoted words may have been used in other writings from that time and how they stand in parallel usage today. For instance, Romans 8:39 “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The word translated as “separate” in secular language is more often used as “divorce”. Doesn’t that make more sense? Only two parties can initiate a divorce – the spouses. In this passage, Paul is reminding us that God will NEVER choose to divorce us or allow anything else to do it, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t initiate the divorce (or separation).

I’ve looked back and noticed how God has shaped my heart and vision over the years. In the beginning my ideas for ministry would look more like a shotgun approach – very wide angle, beginning from a single source, usually me. As my ministry has matured, that approach is not nearly as broad, intense, or focused on my ability to initiate action. My “sense of being” in ministry has changed greatly by the revelation of John 3:17, (God didn’t send His Son into the world to condemn it,..) so if Christ didn’t come to bring condemnation, it’s most definitely not my place, and John 16:8, (Jesus says He will send the Comforter and He will reprove the world of sin). Those two thoughts aren’t particularly popular lately in the church. With all of the social changes happening, too many in the church are more comfortable to condemn people instead of kneeling to the ground with a woman caught in sin, wiping away her tears, and then, after the accusers leave, simply say “go and sin no more”.  Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Do I deal with issues in my own life? Every day of the week.

If any or all of this resonates with you, contact me. I would love to ping ideas and share thoughts with you. My contact info is on the top of this page. I can’t wait to hear from you.


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My heart on Worship

I have spent a very long time leading worship.  Sometimes things jump out at you when you read them.  Here is a service I did a couple of months ago on worship:

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Why do we do productions?

I’ve been doing full-time music ministry for a long time, and for several years before that serving as an intern, part-time worker, and volunteer.  Productions are always the highlight of the department.  I’ve been involved in productions that thousands of people would buy tickets to attend.  Also, I’ve put together productions that would involve literally hundreds of people.  All of them have been fun and rewarding.

Productions always come at a cost in one form or another.  The costs always include people’s time and energy, and usually money – sometimes a lot of money.  When you do a cost / benefit analysis (yes, in ministry you are allowed to do that) you have to measure the benefits.  It really helps to have the realistic benefits in mind before you begin the production.  That’s what this post is going to address.

When I mention the benefits of productions, people in ministry immediately think “souls saved.”  I’m sorry to say that in my years of experience, I’ve not seen that the realistic result both in my own productions and those of other churches.  Now I’m sure I’m getting some people’s feathers ruffled so let me explain:

Many years ago (more than 20) I was attending a pastors’ seminar being hosted by a very large church in a nearby town.  The pastor of that church is a very well-known minister, but I won’t get into that right now.  His church had finished a multi-week run of a then-popular production and had been proclaiming thousands of people “saved” during their run.  The pastor opened the seminar by apologizing to those in attendance saying that while they had that many people come forward, they couldn’t really state factually that people had made life-decisions.  He said that after a couple of weeks following the production his church had not seen a change in numbers (attendance) and with that many people “saved” he would expected a big difference in attendance.  He then instructed some of his staff to call all the churches in a 30-mile radius to see if possibly people had gone to other churches.  No churches had an increase – none.  He came to the conclusion (and I agree) that the production created a strong emotional response, but not a life response.  He then reminded those in attendance that as leaders we are called to make disciples of people, not emotional responders.  Talk about a change in perspective – that did it.

I’ve done a bit of research on my own over the course of time to see if that admonition from many years ago still holds true.  When I’ve done productions, I watch the numbers.  Also, I’ve talked to others serving in churches around the country and asked for their results as well.  As I expected, the numbers have not changed following a large production.  Yes, there may be a short-term bounce, but that is gone six or eight weeks after the event.

So why do productions, are they of any benefit?  YES!!  I did a production a few years ago with one simple goal – see how many people I could get to rally around common task.  That was one of the most incredible experiences for the church and me.  I had about 300 people involved.  It united a segment of the church, created relationships, provided body ministry and got everyone focused on something other than themselves for several weeks.  You can’t ask for better results.  One year, just as we started working on the production, one of our key people was diagnosed with cancer.  She put off surgery until the day after the final performance.  Everyone involved in that production rallied around her and her family in a way that wouldn’t have happened if not for the camaraderie of the production.  That was a success.  Looking back on it, I don’t remember how many people raised their hands, but I do remember a large segment of the church ministering to one another.

So, if productions aren’t the best way to evangelize as a group, what is?  It has been my experience, with several events to reinforce it, to go where people are and be who you are.  Every time I’ve taken the musicians, choir and/or band, out to where people are, and play music, fun music, we’ve had people show up at church and become a part of what we’re doing.  Why did they show up?  Because they wanted to see if we were the same on Sunday that we were at the mall or the park – and we were the same, exactly the same.

I can tie it all to the Bible (imagine that).  Worship in spirit and in truth, and Jesus said that if we lift Him up, He will draw all men.  It seems that if we can show the world that being a Christian can be fun, exciting and most of all genuine, people will want to become a part of that.  People want to be part of something real, something that will take their focus off their issues and give them hope.  Wow, sounds like a sermon in there somewhere.

Do you know what the best part is?  No acting required!!  Just be yourself!

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I did a short lesson on Gideon last week.

Here are my notes (in parentheses & bold) – a different format.  Let me know what you think!


Judges 6

11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak (Why do I love that thought?) in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress(?) to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” (How often do we have questions about God when we are distracted by circumstance?)

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”  (This is a MAJOR contradiction to verse 12.  See where Gideon saw his “place” in society, how do we see ourselves?)

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”

17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”  (Gideon did not want to approach the LORD empty-handed, he asked some of the LORD but was willing to offer something first –

See Proverbs 18:16 – A gift opens the way for the giver

and ushers him into the presence of the great.)

And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.” (I absolutely love that!)

19 Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.

20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. 21 With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. (When an offering is given with a pure heart, God ALWAYS consumes it – See Hebrews 13:15, 16 – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.) 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, (Notice in the text that when Gideon addressed him as Lord, it was out of respect to a superior, but now he recognizes him as LORD!) he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”

24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace. (Really?  Isn’t this the same God that told Gideon he was going to strike down the Midianites?)  To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, (use what was intended for another’s glory) offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”

27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.

28 In the morning when the men of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar! (The people didn’t just wake up one day and decide to worship Baal, it was a very gradual change over many years.  The people kept searching for something different, not content with God.  By Gideon tearing down the altars of Baal, he was putting a stop to their nonGod-centered worship)

29 They asked each other, “Who did this?”

When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.” (Who told them?  Just because you do what is right in the sight of God doesn’t guarantee that everyone, even those “with” you, will stand FOR you!)

30 The men of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”

31 But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” 32 So that day they called Gideon “Jerub-Baal,” saying, “Let Baal contend with him,” because he broke down Baal’s altar. (Even though Gideon’s father worshipped Baal, he still demonstrated a form of Godly wisdom)

33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.

36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. (God left no doubt in Gideon’s mind)

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew. (God can and will confirm His word to you, one way or another.)


As we continue the story, we all see how Gideon pared down over twenty thousand men to a group of three hundred to defeat the Midianites.  Notice how many times in chapter 6 Gideon makes an offering to God.  That is his act of worship.  His worship opened the door for him to become who God saw him to be.  Getting close to the face of God will change your perspective on life. 

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Profile of a Great Choir Member

I got this from a friend – it hits right at the heart!

Profile of a Great Choir Member
J. Daniel Smith
This information is a portion of material that J. Daniel Smith teaches in Worship Conferences around the country.

One of my fine choir members took me to lunch recently and asked a question I hear so rarely it caught me off guard. He said, “I love being in the choir, and I want to be the best choir member I can be. What can I do to be better?” He had picked up a few hints through my weekly comments that let him know we held a fairly significant standard and expected a strong commitment to the music ministry. It was his quest to find out how that was more specifically defined.
Before I tell you how I responded to him, let me say that I firmly believe what this gentleman did was a very healthy thing. When was the last time you went to your music pastor, or your senior pastor, or your boss and asked them, “What can I do to be better?” This posturing seems to clarify that you want to be properly aligned to your authority, and that you want your contribution to be maximized. When you give them the right to speak into your life with appropriate boundaries, you
are functioning well according to 1 Peter 5:5, which tell us to “submit to one another, and to be clothed with humility.”
I left that lunch not impressed with his desire for excellence, but with a determination to clearly articulate to all in our music ministry what goals we should be shooting for as we give ourselves wholly to the work of the Kingdom. After all, who of us wants to be measured by some standard when we don’t know what that standard is? It’s my job as the music pastor to set the boundaries and engage the singers and musicians in the vision God has established for us.

So here’s my list of ten characteristics of a great choir member. Not all of us “bat a thousand” on every point, but nonetheless they remain treat goals to set before us.
1. A great choir member loves the Lord and loves to sing. These are the two basic
requirements to sing in our choir. There is simply a joy about the choir member who possesses these two passions. They have fallen in love with the One Who has placed the song in their heart.
2. A great choir member is faithful. It’s no secret that we can’t build a music ministry on people who aren’t there! Many people with the best of intentions just can’t make it to choir rehearsal, but I remind them that “people vote with their feet.” You make it clear where your commitment is by where your feet take you.
3. A great choir member is prompt. Ouch! The old adage is still true: “Early is on time; on time is late.”
4. A great choir member gets along well with others. You may not like the perfume
of the lady sitting next to you or the shoes she wears, but you can still find a way to graciously accept those in the choir who can be challenging. The great choir member knows how to get beyond themselves and reach out to others. We have a little policy in our place that goes like this:  You are allowed to criticize only if you have a better idea or plan.
5. A great choir member cooperates well with group efforts. Not everyone
understands all the necessary dynamics of being part of a group. It therefore becomes the
responsibility of the leader to explain it. Being part of a group requires often laying down your individualistic ideas and agendas…for the sake of the group at large. Some people can do this easily, some can’t. But the great choir members can at least recognize the importance of cooperating well with group efforts, whether it’s fund-raisers or special events.
6. A great choir member is committed to learning the music well. Excellence is
valued. Great choir members want to get it right and want the musical presentation to be the best it can possibly be. They will go the extra mile.
7. A great choir member is committed to prayer. Devotional living is a priority and is evidenced by the fruit in their lives.
8. A great choir member is expressive and effective in communicating. No longer is it good enough to just stand there and sing. This is the day of powerful communication. For the audience to fully grasp the impact of your presentation, you need great choir members who will pour their heart into effectively communicating the lyric with sincerity. Just think about the lyric you are singing and sing like you mean it…because you do!
9. A great choir member is diligent in the rehearsal process. They are teachable
and can focus. The hardest part of any choir director’s job in a rehearsal is not teaching or
conducting the music. It’s getting and maintaining the focus of attention of the choir members. Sometimes that is easier than at other times. When it’s explained to the choir how some actions can totally break the focus of rehearsal, they can develop a greater sensitivity as to when that is acceptable and when it’s not. Occasionally, we all need a little break in the atmosphere, but when it’s time to ‘knuckle down’ and get the job done, you need choir members who are ready to focus with you and work.
10. A great choir member is accountable. I know of no organization of quality that does not demand some appropriate measure of accountability. In this day of voice mail and email, it’s easy to let the leadership know if you need to be absent from a rehearsal or service. The ultimate point to this is: Never leave the leadership questioning your level of commitment. To me, that is the full responsibility of the individual choir member. We all have situations and circumstances that take us away from time to time, bit there’s really no excuse for not letting the leadership know why you are not at your post of duty. Don’t forget that the leader is counting on you.
So there you have it…characteristics that define great choir members.

- Used by Permission of the Author
J. Daniel Smith is a highly regarded arranger, producer and conductor. He has served as producer on projects including Damaris Carbaugh, Matthew Ward, Dennis Jernigan, Mark Condon and many others. Dan has served for the past twenty-five years as Senior Minister of Music Ministries at Bethesda Community Church in Fort Worth, Texas. There he makes his home with his wife Becky and their two children, Shaylor and Sheridan.

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How do people know we’re Christians?

For several months I’ve been in a retrospective mindset.  I’ve been looking at my past and how I’ve arrived where I am.  What influenced me?  What shaped my thinking patterns?  Did I make decisions based on facts or opinions?  Were things taught to me (in church) real facts and principles based on the Word or were they someone’s ideals?  Sounds like a mid-life crisis of sorts, huh?

I have very vivid memories of people in the church where I grew up telling me what “good Christians” do and don’t do.  That’s how the world would know we are “holy.”  There seemed to never be any grey areas.  Everything was black and white.  Sadly to say, I probably reflected that thinking to others around me, if I was that way to you, please accept my apology.  Some of the things I remember are:

Good Christians don’t:
drink alcohol
participate in secular (school) activities
spend time with non-believers

I could go on, but you get the hint.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become a bit bitter and angry at religious thinking and those who practice it.  None of those are prohibited or taught against in the Bible – Why didn’t I know that then?!?!?  I see those people who try to impose those rules as people who can’t feel complete until they’ve created so many rules that no one can live up to their standards.  In all honesty, that is exactly the type of people Jesus preached against, and the ONLY people Jesus preached against.

Never once did Jesus say the world would know we are His followers because we look religious or abstain from the public.  The only stipulation He assigned to us was that we were to love one another (John 13:35).  Jesus didn’t live a life away from “sinners,” that’s where He spent His time!!  In Matthew 11:19 we see that the religious people didn’t like the way Jesus acted.  He is a partier!  The religious establishment did not approve of Him at all.

Earlier this week I saw some survey data that could be alarming to some.  The “Millennium” generation (born between 1980 and 2000) does not associate with Christianity.   If you look at how the evangelicals behaved during that time (and sadly some still do) you’d understand completely.  Our religious leaders publicly fought and spent television time either tearing each other down or begging for money.  We’ve seen some of the most polarizing, legalistic, religious-minded people fall by their own swords.  Sadly, that is what the world sees as Christianity in America.

For me, in my ministry, it’s not about rules, dress codes, music styles, income levels, or image.  It’s about love and forgiveness.  Everyone is a sinner saved by grace – not religion.  I don’t care if you have a drug problem, are an alcoholic, a thief, cheated on your income tax, a prostitute, a homosexual or someone that ran the red light.  I would love to stand next to you and worship Jesus with you.  The blood of Christ covers us ALL, not just “perfect” people (which don’t exist).

Our time on planet Earth is too short to look for reasons to exclude people from the relationship.  Get over yourself and love people!!

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