Sunday, February 1, 2009

America's Spiritual Weakness

"The great weakness of North American spirituality is that it is all about us: fulfilling our potential, getting in on the blessings of God, expanding our influence, finding our gifts, getting a handle on principles by which we can get an edge over the competition. And the more there is of us, the less there is of God."

-- Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places

8 comments:

Bob said...

I just love Peterson.

TK said...

Hey Jared,
I read your blog pretty regularly but don't know that I've ever commented, maybe once a long time ago.

Thanks for posting this quote. I have returned to it several times already.

So as a pastor, especially of young people, I believe it is critical that they(young people) discover who they were created to be. What this quote is saying to me is that teaching the motivation for that discovery is just as important, i.e. you can't serve God or others in the manner or quality you were meant to without this understanding of self.

Thanks again,

tk

nhe said...

is that "the" TK?

Jared said...

nhe, could be. Depends on which TK is "the" to you. :-)

To his family and friends, I'm sure this TK is "the" TK. ;-)

But it's not Keller, if that's what you're asking.

TK said...

Sorry, did not mean to mislead. As Jared suggested, "tk" is just something my family and friends have called me since I was a kid.

Jared said...

You didn't mislead, man.

I would seriously doubt Tim Keller has ever even heard of my blog, so as far as I'm concerned, you are THE "TK." :-)

nhe said...

Sorry - I asked that before I looked at "TK's" blog - I gotta say though - his comment here was something that Tim Keller would say - so it "game me pause"......

Randi Jo :) said...

Jared!! I feel terrible for bothering you again - and don't worry if you never get to my questions - I mean that. I realize you have so many other priorities.....

but right now as we help layout how our church community is going to look/do --- we're going through an issue. To me the "goal" of church is to get people in a personal relationship with God through Christ. being a community is a by product and because of our connection of God. not vice versa....

Getting people connected to the church isn't the goal to me. When everybody else talks about "plugged in" they are talking about volunteering/serving.... whereas I don't want the message to the unchurched to be - "get to work" --- I want it to be "get to know Him!" I want discipleship relationships, small groups, mentor relationships. THe unchurched don't want to come and work ---- they want to come see the Light - feel His warmth & passion. They want to be uncaged & healed.

so the team's response to me was --- "so we just don't have volunteers? we need a process to help people serve".......

I think my thing is that -- when we're keeping it simple - yes that's true - we DON'T need that many volunteers especially right away. I'd rather service to the Body come as an overflow of relationship with Him -- not telling people the first step is to come serve us!

So then we agreed/comprised that opportuniites to serve would always be presented to the churched/ mature christians... but not the unchurched.... so then our next discussion was about how to get the 'churched' people who are ready to serve... trained? make them go through a spiritual gift assessment? and a red flag went up again --- it's like what spiritual gift makes you a better parking lot greeter vs. tech person? Isn't that about skills --- not spiritual gifts? Is there ever a place for a spiritual gifts assessment? Maybe during the discipleship process to find out how to best serve the community ? rather than the little church here on Sundays?

maybe when we say, "serve" we should be a lot more focused on serving the community- not the church.

sooo anyway!!! I just have SO MANY QUESTIONS!! I am the "connections" director for the church - and everything on your blog just totally resonates with me so much. The vision I presented to the pastor and leaders was one of discipleship, mentorship, small groups ---- yet we always steer toward other things. programs, processes....

anyway! I saw this quote again and just had to comment here!

I just know that my unchurched friends don't need to hear they need to DO more --- they need to hear about God, His love, Jesus & the Spirit. My friend who just got saved a few months ago who I am mentoring... keeps telling me- I just wanted somebody to help guide me. TO answer questions to let me talk/ask questions. She didn't want to hear how teh church needed her..... she needed to hear how SHE needed God.

Anything you (anybody) can offer is awesome!! :) THANKS!!