Once in a while I'll get a blast of clarity. Usually when I'm driving. Like today when I was driving to the hospital to visit my good friend Kurt. He hurt his back and is in a lot of pain. I was thinking how I do what many pastors do: study, pray, visit, counsel... simple things. But while I was thinking these thoughts I immediately felt myself arguing with something. I don't want to be burdened with an agenda. I don't want to burden our church community with an agenda. Not even lofty and noble ones. We are a society of friends, a community gathered together around Jesus. That's it. I encourage and nurture that. Simple as that. I don't spend time in my study figuring out how to save the world, how to grow the church, how to get more money out of people's pockets, how to promote this church's ministry, how to enthrall our people more with sexy worship music, how to make myself more awesome before my people, how to get more people to hear about and come to our church. In fact, I reject the "how-to" disease altogether. Well, except maybe one: how to guard the church from all that crap.
Again, I use the analogy of a relationship. Lisa and I don't have an agenda. We live fully every moment and the rest takes care of itself. You may try to convince me otherwise, but give up before you start. We have never once sat down and planned our future. We haven't even planned out the future of our children. Many of you might say, "Well, that's obviously your problem!" So be it! Just keep those nagging agendas away! We don't want anything to do with it. We truly believe we are healthier for it. I truly believe our church is healthier for it. It makes for better Christians, better people, and a more biblical existence. I know too many pastors, myself included, who have burned themselves out to keep up with a fantastic vision. My suspicions are getting stronger all the time: vision kills.
The fine art photograph is the creation of my friend Jorgen Klausen.