Categories: Pastors Blog
As we pray in advance of and prepare for Sunday, May 16, the day that we have set aside for a special time of giving to God’s Kingdom purpose here at Crossroads, I wanted to share my heart and the thoughts that God is placed in mind, please read the following carefully and thoughtfully:
“We are precious to God – so precious that He will not have us make that preciousness into our god.”
John Piper is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota; he has served God’s church there for 30 years. I have become acquainted with his preaching ministry via the internet (www.desiringGod.org) and through several books over the years. Piper will begin an 8 month leave of absence from his pulpit this month. He is leaving not because of any sin that would disqualify him from ministry, but because of what he called the “growing sense that my soul, my marriage, my family, and my ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit.” Piper is a beloved pastor, well-known speaker and published author (over 40 books). Yet he is stepping away from it all for 8 months, no preaching, no speaking, and no writing.
You may be wondering why I am writing about this here?
As I have followed this situation from a distance and listened to the messages that Bro. John has preached in preparation of his leave, I have been challenged. The statement above is a summary of his next to last message. It summarizes Piper’s desire that the church experience great blessing in his absence because it is not his presence or their presence that brings about God’s blessing, it is God’s presence and His timing. The idea has captured my thought processes as we embark on a new adventure together. We love our church here at Crossroads. We love the family atmosphere, the intimacy, and the familiarity that we share. I know that some of that has been challenged over the last few years with the growth that we have experienced, but we have tried to maintain some measure of all that we enjoy about Crossroads. Now, to the statement, my thought or better my question for myself and I pray that you will ask yourself is, “Have we made what makes Crossroads precious to each one of us our god.” By doing this we rob God of the honor and praise He alone deserves. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying, I believe that we should love the people in God’s church; we should desire to attend and participate in any and all of the ministries of His church. After all a healthy Christian is a healthy church member. However, when you participate in ministry and attend corporate worship experiences is it God that you enjoy or the people of God that you enjoy? I recognize that this is a difficult question because I believe that the line is quite blurred. We have made enjoying His people synonymous with enjoying Him.
Maybe I am hung up on word choices here, but, I am convicted that as we move into the next phase of the life of Crossroads Church I need to get hung up on being very intentional about worshipping God and nothing else.
Therefore, as we give let us give to the Lord, as we sing let us sing to the Lord, as we serve let us serve the Lord, as we live let us live unto the Lord.
Love you, David