Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Saying What You Should

In my position as a youth pastor I sometimes have to be careful how I say things. Like recently I was asked a tough question in a group setting and I had to be careful to answer biblically, and not necessarily allow my personal opinions to lead me to answer out of emotion. I will say however that my opinion on the subject discussed is biblically based, however I also needed to be sensitive to the group. There are also times when I need to say something that may be tough, and may even be offensive to those who are in sin. I often use this quote in talking with friends about ministry: “The Gospel is offensive to those who oppose it.” I remember a tweet by Steven Furtick aimed toward pastors that said something like this: “Pastors in your sermon you are going to get to a point where you think ‘I can’t say that’- but go ahead and say it”. That has stuck with me and so I try to be sensitive to the things that the Holy Spirit is leading me to say. At the same time I need to discern the difference in that and saying something strictly out of my emotion. Recently however when I was talking about the Crucifixion from Jesus’ Perspective I had one of these moments. I was recently burdened by what I can only explain by a bit of apathy in students. We had been prayer walking in preparation for our Easter service, but only had a few come each time. When I said something about this the complaint was made that it was too early (10:00 am). But at the same time I know how willing many are to get up at this time for something if it fits their agenda, and statements have been made to reflect such. As we drove home from church that Sunday I cried as I talked to Belinda about it. I was so burdened by this apathy. So I knew it fit in my message about Jesus and how He never complained when He faced the cross. I knew I needed to address it. I gave this message and I got to that point of saying something about the complaining about stuff such as prayer walking, but I didn’t say it. I knew I needed to say it but didn’t. I played it safe instead and just spoke about complaining in general. I know I might get another chance, even in the next series that I will be doing. But what if someone was there that night and was supposed to hear that and I didn’t say it? I felt terrible afterward for not doing what I was supposed to do. I felt the burden, but I guess I gave in to the thought that I might offend someone in the process. I became a bit like Pontius Pilate I guess.

I want to more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and do and say the things that I am led to. You might be in a position to lead others and so you may have these opportunities on a group basis. Be bold if you are and say the things that you need to. Even if you are not a teacher or preacher you still have the opportunity to influence others and so if God is leading you to say something bold then do it. Do it lovingly. Be careful not to say it out of emotion. Don’t look back with the regret of not saying something that you should have.

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