Tonight, I'm feeling a particular need for some catharsis.
Between things I teach, things I do, and shortcomings I'm still working through, I'm most likely causing trouble for somebody somewhere. Sorry.
And since dogs don't bark at parked cars, here's a semi-random list of thirty offenses...
First, ten things I teach from my understanding of the scripture that seem to get me in trouble…
1) Jesus forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases.
2) God is good. Always.
3) What God is after is a relationship with you. Really.
4) God’s work in your life is based on His love, not your performance.
5) We are meant to walk in divine, close, intimate relationship with the Father by the Holy Spirit just like Jesus did.
6) Love and selfishness are opposites; so are faith and passivity; so are hope and cynicism.
7) You can trust God, stand in faith, take medicine, and go to the doctor all at the same time.
8) Wanting absolution and deciding to truly repent are not even close to being the same.
9) We really can be whole. It requires letting go of past hurts, failures, frustration, sins, etc. God has given us the grace needed.
10) Transformation from God comes from the inside-out, not the other way around.
Next, here are ten things I do in ministry that tend to stir up a hornet's nest…
1) To allow people to ask questions, both privately and publicly.
2) To allow people to share viewpoints and perspectives that may be different than mine.
3) To speak truth in the most loving way possible. That doesn’t always equal sympathy, but it does mean compassion.
4) To call people to bear with one another, and to give allowance for others not being on the same page. Love always trumps higher.
5) To humbly proclaim what I understand the scripture to say with all authority.
6) To vocalize my weaknesses, imperfections and failings.
7) To be real friends with people in my congregation.
8) To make time for my family in my weekly schedule.
9) To ask people to sit closer together when we gather.
10) To expect disciples to do more than pew sit.
And finally, here are ten areas where I fall short and need help
1) Balancing pastoral and administrative needs.
2) Always coming to God from a place of love and joy instead of guilt and shame.
3) Measuring ministry success by human standards.
4) Allowing past hurts and disappointments to shape my heart.
5) Tearing down the façade of emotional invulnerability.
6) Dropping weight.
7) Being inwardly as well as outwardly gracious.
8) Letting love convince me that people are always worth the mess of relationships.
9) Feeling good about saying “no” when “no” is necessary.
10) Staying centered and grounded through the intimacy of prayer.