Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Making Whose Name Great?- Radical Read-Along Chapter 3


I'm linking up today with Marla's Radical Read-Along.  Won't you join us?
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

My husband and I have been very blessed to spend our entire Christian walk to date in the same church.  It’s where we heard the gospel, received salvation and have learned to walk with God.  Our pastor is a humble man, full of grace and love.  He has always been adamant about our church being God’s church.  He firmly believes that God will provide for His church and if He stops providing then the ministry has fulfilled its purpose and should end.  He teaches through the Bible verse by verse and does not preach on giving unless it comes up in the text we are studying.  We do not pass a collection basket.  There is an offering box in the back of the church and people give as they feel led.  No mention of the offering box is made during services.  He does not care about numbers or church attendance but only about ministering to those who do come- preaching the gospel and discipling believers.  Our pastor has always said that he wants to have a church that looks like the one in the book of Acts- simple, prayerful, loving, led by the Spirit and in the Word. 

Is our church perfect?  No.  Is our pastor perfect?  No.   Is there room to grow, for our ministry, into God's purpose and plan for us?  Yes!  However, I do believe that we have done as Platt suggested the church needs to, that is: "refuse to operate in a mind-set dominated by an American dream that depends on what we can achieve with our own abilities." (pg. 53)

By nature, I am a planner and an organizer.  I believe that administration is one of my spiritual gifts.  I am a logical and analytical thinker who can often see things in black and white.  I am also passionate and anxious to “get it done” as I mentioned before.  The truth is that it has been hard for me at times to operate in our fellowship.  I am often frustrated at the lack of organization and planning on the part of the church leadership.  Chapter 3 of Radical reminded me, though, that I would not have it any other way!  It is better to err on the side of waiting too long to act and be sure we know God’s in it than to act impulsively using our own wisdom and strength and end up outside of God’s plan. 

How does this work out practically?  Doesn’t God give us these gifts to proclaim the gospel and edify the body?  Yes!  The difference lies in working with God to accomplish kingdom work or working on our own to accomplish our goals for the church.  God has seen fit to place me in the role of church secretary where I have been able to use my gift of administration to bless the body.  He has allowed me to minister in support roles to the Women’s Ministry, Orphan's Ministry and Children’s Ministry.  However, He has not given me sole or final authority over decisions though.  I report to the pastor in my role as secretary and I work with the Women’s Ministry Board and Children’s Ministry head in my support roles.  These checks have been important for me- not allowing me to run away with my ideas in my own power.  And in teaching me humility and submission- not exactly my best developed traits :)  These individuals hold me accountable to prayer and godly counsel when decisions are made.  They also give me great freedom to work with God and do things to make His name great!

I must say it was nice not to struggle through this chapter as I did with Chapters 1 and 2.  I needed the mental energy to continue to process those chapters.  My husband is reading along now, too, praise God!  And we are talking about where to go from here, together!

12 comments:

alittlebitograce said...

i'm very glad to learn that i'm not the only one who didn't struggled through this chapter. it feels very strange to think "okay, this one i actually already understand!" i really like your words about submission, humility and being under our leadership. it's such a blessing to have leadership that want to follow God, not culture and want to be in authority over you.

Renee said...

I also found Chapter 3 easier. I also have been in the same church (for me, all my life), and while we do change Pastors, I continue to grow. Sometimes I feel like each one was sent at just the right time for me, even though I know it isn't about me. Great post!

Jennifer Faulk said...

I just spent the morning in a long committee meeting at our church. Your point about checks in the church is a good reminder to me. I think I would run right off with ideas if there weren't other people to help me think through the logistics first. :)

Renee said...

haven't read through this entire post..but saw the book on your page and had to comment. Besides the WORD of God (the Bible)...no other book has transformed my heart and mind so quickly as Radical! Me and my two youngest girls are reading it outloud...one is 15 and one soon to be 12.

I have struggled with so many things with the "Church" today...and when I picked up and read this book it was as if Mr. Platt was in my mind reading my thoughts. So, the Holy Spirit! Thanks for posting.

Mary B said...

I am not reading the book, but I love this post. I love that God uses our gifts (when we let Him!) to glorify Him...so much better than when we try to do things on our own. Amazing how He knows best. Thanks for this thought provoking post!!
Are you getting excited about Relevant 2010?? It will be here before you know it. Hope you have a great time!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

humility and submission are things I struggle with too!!

Natalie said...

Melissa, I suspect we are not the only ones ;)

Natalie said...

Thank you, alittlebitofgrace! Yes, we are blessed.

Natalie said...

Thanks Renee for reading and commenting!

Natalie said...

Glad this gave you some perspective, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by here and commenting!

Natalie said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with the book, Renee! God is already working in my husband and I through it. I'm looking for to continuing this journey!

Natalie said...

Thank you, Mary! I am going to Relevant with a friend and we got together last night. We are definitely getting excited for it!!! Wish you were going to be there :(

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