A few years ago, I was having lunch with a friend. My friend is candid. Hmmm, maybe "blunt" is the better word. Anyway, we were talking about prayer. I had admired his prayer life. He is very serious about his ministry as an intercessor and prays for many people each day. As we continued eating lunch, I said something about wishing that I could do something to "get our church to pray more." He stopped eating, looked at me, and said, "Why don’t you quit trying to do something to the church and just pray? Just be the prayerful person you need to be and see what happens."
I’m glad he said that. He was right. Far too often, we see ministry as an effort to get the church to do something. Some of us spend a lifetime trying to fix people. As parents, some of us smother our children in our well meaning determination to get them to do right. Some families are wound so tight they fail to communicate that there might be any joy associated with living for Jesus. Their homes are tense, tight, and have little laughter. Meanwhile, many church leaders are forever concocting new schemes, methods, programs, etc. as they try to make church happen.
The truth is this: The most powerful thing I can do is to simply be an authentic Christ-follower. My words are most authentic when they are buttressed by an authentic life. To really "be" something in the midst of my marriage, my family, my church is incredibly powerful. The authentic life is more powerful and more transformative than my feeble attempts to do something to people.
A few years ago a friend of mine told me, "The most important thing you can do in our church is to be a godly, healthy, human being who loves God, his family and the church." I think that is true for a husband/wife, father/mother, friend, etc. Maybe I need to examine my own life as a husband, dad, and Christian man.
What do you think?