Last Sunday in the darkness, I rose early before everyone to pray. Our family was about to rise, dress, and prepare to crawl under human microscopes for analysis by a church selection committee later in the morning. Before we had left our home, I had felt afraid of the interviewing process. I wondered, what if our family’s first impression doesn’t paint a realistic picture? Then, I cringed at the idea that we just might. I was well aware of our imperfections and I had more to pray over before our interview. Lord, please remove this insecurity and anxiety from me–please provide Your peace and my trust in you instead. May we make the most of this opportunity to encourage Your hurting Church and bless them. May we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear what You desire and Your will for us. Please, stir our hearts and minds today from Your living word. Then, it hit me.
None of this is really about us, but about what God desires to do through us, for His glory.
By His abundant grace, our family filed through double doors with children all wearing matching socks and shoes. I think it was a first. We filled a church pew, worshipped, fellowshipped, and received Good News from someone I love–one who remains set apart and ordained for God’s use. Yes, I still had to scold our girls for whispering during the sermon and yes, I had to remind our son to quit wiggling next to me, but for the most part–I think we made it through the message without too much distraction.
My husband offered encouragement through his sermon message about standing as a Christ follower–not sitting, not sleeping, not worrying, but standing and shining our lights in this world. Then, after the service and hungry tummies were filled with pizza, we entered the interviewing process in front of the committee. We also had some interviewing to do, because as we all know, some pastor’s wives play piano–I for one don’t. I hope they forgive my blunt testimony to that little fact. My husband and I both felt relaxed and more than ready for their questions. Through the interviewing process, it felt strange; we inadvertently realized how much we’ve changed. Our faith , our experience, and even our skills over the years, aren’t the same. We sat there unified, at peace, and able to laugh–but at one point we were left with more questions.
Would the selection team, remain at peace with all the expectations we couldn’t meet?
Some of us may never know what it feels like to lead our families underneath a church selection committee microscope such as this. While my husband and I felt at peace with our answers, the process did leave a pang of sadness in my heart. There were some Biblical issues we just couldn’t see eye to eye on and we would not waver even though my husband needed employment.
Hold on, I’m going to climb up on a soap box here. The whole experience was such a great reminder to me of our responsibility within the Church today–regardless of our circumstances.
- I believe we must pray for and assure those who shepherd our churches and their families–that we love them. It takes great courage to risk rejection, judgment, slander, loneliness, and unsolicited advice from so many. It’s also a courageous thing to obey God as an imperfect person and serve imperfect people.
- As members of the Church–we also must allow God to revive His Biblical mission in and through each of us personally–not just depend upon the pastor.
- We must reject the temptation to go with the flow of culture and conform to what’s popular even in the Church setting–we must remain strong. We cannot choose laziness and compromise–we must remember that we are set apart to be put on a lamp stand and shine bright.
In the same way my kids needed reminding to refrain from whispering and listen during a church service, or to stop wiggling so others could focus–I believe we need adults may need some reminding also. To avoid confusion on every issue from creation, marriage, conception and birth, children, church leadership, government, conflict, sin, grace, salvation, and everlasting life–now more than ever, I now see and believe something I only assumed everyone understood before. We within the Church, must open our Bibles, read them, remember, and do what they say–even if the truth conflicts with our personal feelings and even if it hurts. Tell me, if we don’t who will?
God wants to direct us, He wants to help us learn from history, and he wants to protect us from our bent towards disobedience and self-destruction. He loves us and wants to tell us just how much. He wants a relationship with each of us–no matter how imperfect. He wants us in our jeans, in our sweats, in our confusion, in our struggles–He simply wants us humbled and real before Him and just as we are. The question is–do we want Him or do we want our churches to become something He never intended?
May He revive us, His church, with humble, prayerful, faithful, and grateful hearts according to His will.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
***I am happy to report that the very next day, my husband was officially offered and accepted a work position near to home! Thank you all for praying with and for our family–please thank God with us!!***