I love this time of the year!! Being a sports junky there is just so much to partake in;
- NBA Playoffs – Anybody but the HEAT
- French Open…
- NHL Playoffs – Devils & Kings?? Who would have thought??
- MLB – it’s in full swing
- CFL training camps – looking forward to another exciting season
Last night I had the chance to sit down and watch the Heat / Celtics playoff game – It was a great game but the thing that really stood out to me was the role the refs played. Many times we are so focused on the players we forget about the guys in the black and white shirts. The more I watch them – the more I respect them – as long as they make the right calls and aren’t simply blowing the whistle because they love the feeling of power.
There have been many time recently in ministry where I feel like a referee. I’m okay with being a ref once in a while – it’s often an expectation – especially in youth ministry. It’s not okay if it’s going to take up most of my life and suck the passion out of everything I do. But sadly, I know many people within ministry who spend as much time refereeing the complaints and conflicts of their people as they do preparing to teach the Word of God and leading the work of God. That just ain’t right!
The Apostle Paul had these words of wisdom, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you … One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas;’ another, ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?”
These people had taken there focus off Jesus and they were being distracted by issues and personalities. When God’s people do that, the Body of Christ, which has already been broken enough, is broken again. Over and over again pastors have to abandon quarterbacking God’s team and are forced to waster precious resources and time being a referee!
Personal egos, personal agendas, control freaks, soapbox issues, turf fights – these are tools of our enemy- no not the Eskimos or the Oilers – but the one who is described a lion looking for someone to devour. As a result, there are tons of discouraged pastors and leaders who are being dragged into battles that don’t really matter much and away from the battles that really do.
When are we all going to figure out that we are all on the same team! May we never forget that we’re surrounded by spiritually dying people and that we have a life-or-death mission to rescue them. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball…because if we don’t we are gonna get benched real quick.
No pastor should spend his/her time as a referee. Remember the words of Tommy Lasorda….play for the name on front of your jersey – not the name on the back!