I'm reading Eugene Peterson's "Under the Unpredictable Plant" and just came across a sentence that made me question my motives in relationships, especially relationships with others in the Church congregation in which I serve.
Eugene brought up a point concerning how we as pastors can often reduce someone's worth to how active they are within the Body. Do they show up on Sundays? That earns them some points. Do they give their tithe? That earns them some more points? Do they devote some time to the ministry of the Church? That will earn them a few more points. Do they actively participate in the work of evangelism, etc...I think you get the point.
I am so very guilty of this. I have judged my brothers and sisters based on their corporate, Church stats. I have done it over and over again. Most other "church" leaders I know have done it also. It's a way of life for church leadership. I guess it's the way we have to monitor a "job well done" or something like that.
Peterson challenged me to take off the blinders that I've placed around my eyes. He challenged me to look at the people I serve beyond their "church" shell and really get to the crux of their creative, passionate, God-given soul...a soul, that sometimes they don't even see themselves...soul that He created...a soul that has worth beyond carrying out the goals and jobs of some egotistical Creative Arts Pastor in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.