Sometimes I get really one-track-minded. I forget that there are other people around and only focus on me, myself, and I.
It’s usually to my detriment. It hurts me, my friends, and others who are in need of something that I refuse to offer them. I kinda suck.
I told this story a couple Wednesday nights ago. I was about 15 and had only been driving for maybe 3 months, and I drove home from my Nana’s house for the first time.
Nana lives less than 3 miles away from my mom’s house. It was really nothing to make a fuss about. But, I felt like a big shot, and I thought that I knew everything there was to know about driving.
Until the moment came where I realized that I didn’t. That moment came in the form of me trying to kill a cockroach on the dashboard as I was turning onto my street, and hit a telephone pole 90 feet away from our driveway.
Yeah, that wasn’t fun. Yeah, I got in pretty big trouble. Yeah, it cost a whole lot of out-of-pocket money to fix, since we didn’t go through insurance to avoid any issues with me not getting my license on time.
In that moment, it was all about me. Nothing else mattered to me. I was so focused on what I wanted to do and what I felt like I needed to do, that I completely forgot about the bigger picture.
This weekend is Easter weekend, the time where Christians across the world will observe and celebrate the fact that our God isn’t dead, but is fully alive and the conqueror of death. Us pastors and ministry employees & volunteers have been working for months for this one Sunday, the biggest Sunday of them all (even though every single Sunday is incredibly important).
Let me throw in a shameless plug right about now. If you don’t have a church home, I’d love to see you at Next Level this weekend at one of our three services (9:15, 10:50, and 12:25).
But one thing that happens in the church world around this time of year is unhealthy competition. Who has the biggest shocker planned for services? Who has the coolest light show? The coolest set design? The loudest music? The most powerful music?
It becomes a fight. It never should’ve been a fight in the first place.
Our lead pastor Rob Shepherd brought this idea to my attention this week: if we are going to be kingdom-minded, we have to celebrate that other churches are having people go their services, even if they aren’t coming to ours.
If we really are focused on spreading the name of Jesus, on the idea that we at Next Level Church are not the only church on the Peninsula or in the 757, then we as a staff have to be happy that people are going to church, even when the church they go to isn’t ours.
Pastors, ministry workers, volunteers, everyone else: let me challenge you today. I challenge you to pray for the churches in your area, not just your own. I challenge you to pray for the staff members of other churches, even if you may not get along with them. I challenge you to pray for the people who attend other churches Sunday, that they’ll get connected and take the next step in their faith at that church, no matter what the step may be.
Don’t get too high on yourself out there. You aren’t the only church in your area. Get over yourself.
I don’t say this because I’ve completely adopted this idea, or because I’m not affected by it. Trust me, this idea hits me in gut hard.
Is it easy for me to want students 6th-12th grade to get connected to a ministry that may not be the one I lead? Heck to the no. There are student pastors in this area that I highly respect and look up to, but I’d be lying if I said I was happy that a student who could’ve come here went to their ministry instead.
I struggle with that idea day in and day out. So you’re not alone.
Easter Sunday is one of the highest attended Sundays in the western Church world, and not everyone is going to your church. So, would you join with me and pray for the other churches in our areas, that life change and growth would happen, and that Jesus would show up there?
If you don’t attend Next Level, what church do you go to? I’d love to pray for your church this weekend.