- J. I Packer, Knowing God
There is a great line in the movie Anchorman, when Ron Burgundy introduces himself and says, “I’m kind of a big deal. People know me.” This thinking sums up the thinking of many pastors, but not always the ones you think.
Many people bemoan the rise of mega-churches and talk about the “celebrity pastor” that has come because of it. It may be true true that some pastors of larger churches have created a pastor-centralized way of doing church. They strive to be celebrities.
But I’ve also met pastors of really large churches who are incredibly humble and seek to serve those around them. Large churches do not equal celebrity pastors just like small churches do not mean the pastors are not celebrities.
Now, in a small church, celebrity can be harder to see. But it is there.
You see this when…
This problem can be deceptive because most pastors become pastors to help people. They care deeply for people, the hurts they experience and want to help them find life in Jesus. Underneath this desire for many pastors is a need to be needed. This fuels and drives many pastors to work themselves into a position where they feel they are always needed.
Here are a few ways to know this might be you:
Pastors are needed by their people. God designed it this way and it is a good thing.
- Josh Reich is the Pastor of Preaching & Vision at Revolution Church
in Tucson, AZ. Visit his blog here.
This weekend we looked at how the people of Israel went All-In as they brought their gifts for the tabernacle. Here are eight observations I made about their giving (from Exodus 35–36):
1. They gave in response to the initiative of God.
It’s not like God needed their stuff. The hardest parts he had done by himself—the plagues, defeating the Egyptians, providing manna in the wilderness. But he invites them to be a part of the building of the tabernacle.
2. God used their stuff to build his tabernacle.
Even though God didn’t need their stuff, he chose to use it. The work God does on earth is always facilitated through the gifts of his people.Think about when Jesus fed the 5000: he used a kid’s lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish. Clearly a God that could do that did not need the 5 loaves and 2 fish … as if he could not have pulled it off with 1 fish and a bread crust!
3. Everyone had something to contribute.
Exod 35:20 says “all the congregation of Israel” was involved in this. If you read the text you’ll see it then starts listing all these different kinds of people. The craftsmen did this; some of the women did this; and the people who were good with cloth did this. Everybody had a part because God was not after a few resources of a few wealthy people; he was after the hearts of all his people.
4. You can’t give what you don’t have.
What you see throughout Exod 35 (esp. 35:22–29) is that each person gave out of what God had given them. But you shouldn’t feel guilty about what you can’t give. God determines the seasons of your life. You are responsible to be faithful in the season he has you in.
5. They gave in response to grace.
Not only are they responding to God’s deliverance from Egypt, but to the grace that God showed them in Exodus 34. There Israel had made a golden idol to worship, and God should have destroyed them. But instead he showed them mercy. Even the gifts they gave were a reminder of God’s mercy, since they were given to the Israelites by the terrified Egyptians as they left Egypt. They are only giving to God out of what they had received from God.
6. Giving was both free and Spirit-prompted.
There is an interplay between the Holy Spirit and the hearts of the people throughout these chapters. Moses does not command anyone what to give. Instead he says, “The Holy Spirit will put in your heart specifically what to give.”
7. They gave publicly.
The word translated in the ESV as “contribution” in Exodus 35:5 is terumah, which literally means “to raise up.” In the old King James Version they called this the “heave-offering.” You would heave it up for all to see, showing them that you were “all-in.”
8. They had to hold a congregational meeting to tell them to stop giving.
This is my favorite one. Moses has to gather everyone together to stop them from giving because the gifts are too plentiful (Exod 36:5–7)! Just one time, Summit, would you let me experience this? I promise I will do a really good job calling the congregational meeting.
- J. D Greear
- African missionary David Livingstone
- C. S. Lewis, Reflections On the Psalm