Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Potent Quotables 2 or Do you need to do more than being holy?

Ok, so this was going to be a reply to a comment made by Tim. It became so long it turned into a new post.

"Showing up and being Holy makes you faithful, but it doesn’t necessarily make you effective."

I recognize the widespread copout that can occur with regard to officer recruitment and evaluation, but I think there has to be some discussion about what effectiveness looks like. I love the Sandra Ryans and Chick Yiulls of the world who are doing effective ministry and can communicate in a terrific way and who are rock stars. For that matter and for the same reasons, I love the Steve & Sharon Busseys and Russell Rooks and Tim and Jamie Millers.

Here's the thing, though, I know that it's not all about the rock stars. It's also about these people who aren't that well spoken but have hearts to love their people, it's about people who may go about the business of Corps Officering very differently from the way I would, it's about people society would not tap to be leaders. But they are effective as Salvation Army officers because people see what they have and want some of it. I can't tell you their names and you won't know them anyway.

My concern is with the angle that seems to say that it's possible that some hypothetical set of officers could be holy and could be showing up and that God would not bring fruit due to lack of training or expertise. I just don't buy that. I quote this all the time, because it's so dead on. Turn it around to be about excuses why others can't be effective:

In his book The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren writes, "If you're not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using? Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid. That is quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them in his service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses."

The caveat is that if you are a holy person and have a heart for people, you will be driven to minister more effectively by being trained, by using best practices, by checking your approach with peers who share your passion. Holy people who show up aren't static in minstry. They find paths to greater effectiveness, and they already know the most important one--being indwelt by the Holy Spirit and keeping in tune to what God is doing in and around them.