What I’m Reading Today: Acts 14
At the end of the last summer, I lived through one of the most difficult times of my life. I left a church I had served (and loved very deeply) for nearly eight years and made the transition into serving a new church 1,200 miles away.
Lots of folks have wondered why – if I loved my previous church so much – I made the change.
There are several dimensions to that answer, but one of the primary reasons is embedded in today’s reading from Acts.
In today’s passage, we are told that the group of believers in Lystra was so touched by the ministries of Paul and Barnabus that they cried out: “The gods have come down! These men are gods!”
While most congregations who love their pastors don’t go quite THAT far in their appreciation of a pastor, there is a tendency for some to get caught up in the minister and lose sight of the One to whom the pastor is pointing.
In Paul and Barnabus’ case, they had to quiet down the group by reminding them: “”We are [people] just like you.” In my case, last summer I realized it was time for me to pass the torch to another pastor who could take my previous congregation to the next level by helping them see their vision for ministry and call in a way that was much bigger than my vision and call.
In each and every case, as one of my colleagues said so eloquently, “Our goal as spiritual leaders isn’t to get our congregation to say ‘What a great pastor we have!’ Rather, our goal is to help the people say, ‘What a great God we celebrate and serve!’”
Today, I would ask you to consider if there is something in your life – some gift or manifestation from God – that has caught your eye and perhaps unintentionally moved your focus from God onto the manifestation of God. If so – no matter how wonderful that manifestation might seem to be – take time to remember not just the object or person itself, but the one toward whom the manifestation points.
Til next time…