Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God doesn't want your BS (by Jason S at Connecting to Impact)

I'm going to be honest. There are some really amazing high profile pastors that are doing some amazing things for the Kingdom. I have been fortunate enough to meet a handful of them through blogging and at church conferences. But honestly, some of my very favorite pastors are the ones that comment on this blog and who involuntarily cringe a little bit when they see I've left a comment on their blogs. One of my favorites is Jason. You gotta love a pastor who can appreciate a good "that's what she said" moment:

Katdish asked me about maybe doing a guest post a little while ago. At first I was gung-ho ready (which is usually the case) then came the point where I wondered what I would write.

I do have to say that I appreciate Katdish a whole heckuva lot. She was one of the first to start consistently commenting on my blog and she’s been a great encourager for this dorky pastor who’s trying to be real and frequently feeling his way through. I heart your hilarious, encouraging, sometimes irritating soul, Katdish. Sorry, done with the mushy stuff.

I’ve been in ministry for years now, but I officially became lead pastor of our church way back in December of 2008. It has been thoroughly wonderful so far, and I am so blessed at who and how God has put us together as a church here in Juneau, AK to see His purposes accomplished.

I am amazed though at how much I feel like a politician. I have to motivate people, inspire, encourage, make (only) positive changes, share a vision for the future, and deal with people—some of whom feel I have not lived up to one or all of those things. I live and learn while raising a family and working a full-time job besides the one pastoring our church.

One thing I’m not so good at, and for the most part refuse to do, is BS people. I know, I know—a politician who can’t BS is done before he starts, but I think the church has been filled with it for too long (so has politics, but that’s another post). In fact, a lot of churches are so filled you can barely get in the doors on Sunday (nice visual, huh?).

We have tended toward not dealing with things, faking it ‘til we make it (which never seems to come), concealing disappointments because anything else is a “lack of faith,” and so on.

We’ve settled for pretending Christianity instead of living and experiencing it. You didn’t get the job you wanted? Well, let me regurgitate a bumper sticker I read once that I don’t really believe (because my life proves it) but will hopefully make you feel better. You just heard you have Ovarian Flu? It’s okay, just trust God and He’ll make everything better.

I’m not saying this as condemnation, but I know the temptation is always there. It’s easier to BS than to walk with somebody where you don’t want to go.

Romans 15:15 & 16 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

That’s not easy. Neither is Jesus’ command to love each other as He loved us. That’s the point, it’s divine and supernatural work. I love that the verse says, “live in harmony.” We’re not all robots spouting the same clich├ęs and going through the same experiences. We flow together to make something new, that’s what harmony is: diverse sounds coming together.

The beginning of Romans 15 gives us the template to live above the BS. We offer our bodies as living sacrifices. It’s in surrender that we can make a difference and truly walk with people. God’s not buying it and we’re not helping anybody, so let’s put the shovel down.

Just the other day, I was tempted to BS. I was writing about a great church event we had that went very well, but didn’t draw all the people I thought it should have. I wanted to gloss that over and put a “spin” on it then I thought, “why do I want to do this?”

The sad answer that has plagued mankind since the beginning was staring me in the face at that moment: pride.

Pride says I need to be recognized, I need to have all the answers, I need a big church to be important, I need 100 comments on my blog post. That’s why we BS and try to make ourselves look better, but better to whom?

We already have God’s heart and attention, what more could you ask for?

What do you think? Are you guilty of piling on the BS or are you working hard to get it out of the church and/or your lives?

To read more not BS from Jason, check out his blog, Connecting to Impact


katdish said...


Okay, yeah. That fits.

Love this post, Jason. You rock.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Pride sucks. Take my pride, please. This is something I need work on every day in both my professional and personal life. I need to make my eating of humble pie more intentional.

Great post!

Helen said...

Jason, too true. I think we really believe sometimes we can make it all better by ignoring it, whatever it is. Then, once it is all better, why does anyone even need to know about the problem in the first place? Yeah, I know. Weak....

sherri said...

"We already have God's heart and attention. What more could you ask for?"

Is there ANY other question to even follow this?

Perfectly said. I mean asked.

Billy Coffey said...

Great post, Jason. Living beyond the BS is something I've always tried to do because the alternative is just as you've described. Jesus was an in-your-face-because-He-loved-everyone kind of guy. I want to be that way, too.

jasonS said...

Thanks everyone! You are tremendous. And thanks Katdish for being such a giving, supportive person, which by the way far outshines the irritating part. :)

Peter P said...

Great post Jason....

but can anyone tell me what BS stands for? I didn't understand that abbreviation.

Joanne Sher said...

Jason - there is TONS of truth here. LOVE it. It's so easy to just BS your way through, but it NEVER WORKS (have you noticed that? hehe).
Thanks for the reminder!

jasonS said...

@Peter- it stands for "Beelzebub Spin" (I think you're kidding, but I don't always know with you). :)

Peter P said...

Beelzebub spin...

Interesting to re-read your post inserting 'beelzebub spin' every time you wrote BS.

Kidding? Me? No, I'm just a pure, innocent child of God who doesn't understand all of these worldly phrases and abbreviations :-)

Chris Sullivan said...

Great post. If I speak or act I tend to call it how I see it but so often I find myself hiding behind my pride or shame and staying quiet.

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JML said...

I know I've been there. For a long time, it was just exaggerating whatever in real life, but you add this whole online deal to the mix and it just gets blown out of proportion! The notion of having so many friends on face book, followers on twitter, your blog, and it honestly goes on! Great post!

sharilyn said...

jason, thanks for this refreshing post. yes, it's refreshing to hear someone calling a "subtle sin" what it really is... i find it interesting that Jesus never really criticized anyone except the Pharisees and religious leaders. hmmm. when we're doing just what you're talking about here, are we any different from them?