Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is God In It?

The question came out of nowhere. In a weekly supervision meeting with the part-time Children's Ministry Director, Ashley Miller, I asked her what she is learning and how her job has changed since she began in September. Ashley is a church member and seminary student at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. She paused and said, "The job hasn't really changed, but I have. I'm just going around asking myself 'Is God in this?'"
We both stopped and reflected on the profundity of what she said; Is God In It? That's an un-locking key to discovering vital and vibrant ministry. Is this God's doing or mine? Who gets the credit here? Who is this program really about? God or vested interests or tradition or my pride? How do I know God is in something? How does God know he is in something in the church?
Getting ready to preach on Psalm 34 for All Saints, I could not help reflecting this morning on Psalm 34:2 "My soul makes its boast in the LORD." If I'm boasting in what a great job I'm doing leading the staff, preaching, doing this that and the other thing, the first person singular pronoun is used way too much "I, me, my, mine" If I'm boasting in the LORD, then God's name will keep coming up again and again. The energy is not about my success, achievement, worth, identity or validation. It's about God.
How would that question work in board meetings and committees? Would it cloud up the discussion or bring clarity? How would that question work in a relationship like marriage, family, dating? How would the question change what I do in my time off?


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