Pastor the bride as a Servant
January 4th, 2019 / By: Ryan Hurt | Lingleville Baptist Church / comments
In 2003, I was playing keyboards for a big-name country music act when we had come to the end of the night of our New Year’s Eve show in San Antonio. We played our encore song and were escorted to our backstage “green room” where everything we had requested was waiting on us. From the food and drinks we requested, to everything else--there was no doubt we were treated like royalty in these places and before we ever showed up to these venues it was clear what each of us were to have in those rooms when we arrived. Venues agreed to these demands before ever hiring the artist. Artists could actually cancel their contracts if these demands weren’t met and go elsewhere. Not only were these green rooms set up to our standards but our gear and everything was set up exactly how we wanted it as well.
I tell this story because so often this “green room effect” has become the norm in the 21st century church! I had the opportunity to preach a Disciple Now a while back and got to the church early, so the pastor let me come into his office and hang out. I was immediately blown away as I conversed with him. “There is no way I would preach to kids! My calling is Sunday mornings only,” he stated. “Adults are hard enough; I didn’t sign up to deal with moody teenagers too; they don’t pay me enough to do that!” He added. The green room effect--“Give me what I want, when I want, how I want, where I want and if I don’t get what I want, I will go somewhere else.”
This is a cancer that over the 12 years I have been in ministry I have seen slowly destroying the bride of Christ--not only in pastoral ministry but ministry generally. We have this sense of entitlement that puts us in a box. “I’m called to teach, to preach, to greet, to play piano, to play guitar, to lead worship, to watch babies, to lead men’s ministry, to lead women’s ministry, etc., and there is no deviating from that “calling.” I’m not “called” to watch babies; I’m not “called” to set up chairs or to park cars; I’m not “called” to pick up toilet paper that’s on the floor of the bathroom at church. It’s the green room effect. We have lost focus on the bigger “calling” on ALL of our lives as the church to “toil and strive” (1 Timothy 4:10), pointing people to Jesus and sadly have put our focus on ourselves and have become entitled making it more about ourselves, our ministries and our calling, never stepping outside our boxes.
What would happen though if we would think a little outside the box in this area? I mean, I get it that we all have a calling on our lives that’s unique and for kingdom advancement, but what would happen if we became a people who, when we saw a need in the church, we step up and serve? Let’s get out of our green rooms of entitlement and where we see a need, serve! No matter what we are “called” to in the ministry (even pastors), there is NOTHING below us that we can’t step up to and help the bride be all that it can be to advance the kingdom of God! As the Psalmist says in Psalm 84:10, “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in tents of wickedness.”
Let us be a people of God who are getting out of this place of entitlement, out of our green rooms. We are toiling and striving, and gladly holding the doors open for the glory of God and for the praise of his glorious name!
Ryan Hurt serves as pastor and worship leader at Lingleville Baptist Church. www.linlglevillebaptist.org