Church, Personal

Too Tight a Control?

I take my role as teaching pastor very seriously, and I believe that everything we do teaches something. This runs so deep in the core of my being that it would be pointless to explain how or why I think this way.

When I say everything, I truly mean everything. I can be somewhat irritating to people because I do not believe that “good enough” is just not good enough. We can always be better. We can always communicate more clearly. We can always convey ideas more effectively.

This applies to everything from the way I preach a message or the band plays a song to the positioning of flowers and the phrasing of an article in our weekly bulletin to the way the chairs are arranged in our auditorium.

Nothing doesn’t matter.

This makes me come off as a control freak, and I used to feel a little embarrassed about that because culturally I suppose I am supposed to be super tolerant and understanding of people. According to our culture, I am not supposed to correct people’s grammar in emails or change the way something has “always” been done because it might offend.

But which is more important? Not offending people or presenting the cause of Christ in the best possible light?

Can we ever obsess too much about the way we represent Christ?

If we truly believe that every aspect of ministry and life should be saturated with Christ’s presence, then how can we do anything in mediocrity? How can we ever be passionless in our ministry to others? Can there ever be a detail too small or too insignificant?

I say we should devote endless energy into being better and more effective at teaching Christ. I say we should be so focused, so laser-beam focused, on the message we are sending that we continually are improving and changing.

Yes, I want things a certain way. Do I offend people on purpose? Of course not. Does it happen? Yes. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Have I had to repent over offending people? Sure. Do I lose sleep over it? Not in the slightest. I’d rather fail from time to time in pursuit of effective, creative,  brilliant communication than always succeed at being mediocre.


1 thought on “Too Tight a Control?”

  1. Part of excellent and effective communication is taking the time necessary to communicate with the specific audience, and with love and compassion. Jesus had a lot of people to show God to while He was here on Earth, yet he took time to speak to the people he spoke to in ways that were tailored to how they would receive the message…including children, including his disciples, even the Pharisees, or “strangers” – like the Samaritan woman. To be excellent is a noble goal, I’m sure God approves of it…but there’s so much to it. I the we continuously evolve in our understanding of what it means, and our ability to do it. Sometimes it involves counterintuitive things, like stopping, taking time, and listening to the “still, small voice”. Sometimes, it is truly relaxing – to stimulate creativity, or so that others may relax. We have such a big impact on one another. As a teacher, your impact is even greater. And we don’t always create more impact in the ways we imagine. Like faith, excellence is a journey…and Jesus is an inspiration for both.

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