This morning our staff is doing the finishing touches on the AM Experience Sunday morning, I am doing the finishing touches on my talk for Sunday morning, my family and I are headed out of town for a couple of days on a small mini-vacation, The Saints are still World Champions, Auburn beat Bama in Recruiting, oh wait a minute… wrong blog… But really, What Matters? All that we do in life, all the hussle and bussle, WHAT REALLY MATTERS? Does another 25-30 hours a week in Sermon preparation for 75% of the people to forget about it and/or not apply it to their life after they leave REALLY MATTER? Does another 40 hour week in preparing by our staff for another Worship Experience REALLY MATTER? Does it REALLY MAKE a DIFFERENCE?
First of all, YES and NO. Yes it makes a difference because almost all that we do is geared to reaching those who are far from God. Those who dont know Jesus. We are called to do whatever it takes to reach them. And that is why we do what we do and LOVE what we do. HOWEVER, the answer is also an apparent NO. Why? There are too many people sitting in churches today, Oasis included, who are under the influence of the spiritual gift of CRITICISM. With this, they never see anything positive, it is always negative, it is always too cold, too hot, wish it wasnt raining, wish it would rain, wish the pastor would do this, wish they would sing this and that and those type people have a hard time ever enjoying life.
What can we do about the criticism? I learned a long time ago that what I can do about critical people is NOTHING. Not my problem. It is theirs to deal, not mine. But I have to say this, too many people that live a critical, negative lifestyle and have that attitude, will never make the difference that they have been called to make. Jesus saved you not just for you to raise your HEAVEN BOUND banner, but to do something for HIM. Scripture says He saved you AND Called you! What difference are you making? What impact are you having? Positive or Negative?
Back to my story, what difference is being made or does what I do really matter? To some people, maybe not. But I have learned that my audience is not the people who come to hear my sermons, but my audience is THE ONE who called me. If I live my life more concerned about what Jesus thinks and not care what others think, I find a Freedom that too many people dont have. I am discovering that. I am valuing the things that He puts in my life and the Call He has placed in my life more and more each day knowing He is entrusting me with responsibilities for Him and the rewards for that obedience is amazing. I want to be a History Maker! I want to see lives changed! Most importantly, I want Jesus to be proud and thankful that He called me to do His Work on the Gulf Coast, regardless of popular opinion. I am also learning that simple is better. We are not going to do a bunch of things for the sake of doing them, we are going to do a few things and we are going to strive to do them well to make the biggest difference. That is why we put so much energy and effort into a Sunday morning Experience. More people are there, more the opportunity to reach the unchurched, more people are there who dont have relationship with Jesus than any other time of the week and that is why we do all we do in preparation for Sunday. Why? The greater the opportunity to make the biggest impact for God.
Now, in closing, Oasis Church peeps, you guys are amazing! I am so proud to pastor some of the greatest people on the planet and I am also thrilled to know that our church family is expanding and more and more people are becoming a part of this movement on the Gulf Coast. Thank you. I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you Sunday morning!
Sorry to rant this morning, just feeling it! I feel better now! Thanks for tolerating!!!!
AMEN, Pastor Eric … I feel ya!! The ONE who matters most, loves me most — Jesus.
I’m learning more — daily — how to just do what I do, the way I do it, for the One who loves me most and Who designed me to do what I do … for His glory, and for my good.
‘For in him we live and move and have our being … for we are His offspring’. (Acts 17:28, NIV)