25 September 2006

Getting off, spiritually speaking

I've had this idea floating around my head for a while, and it's time to let it out. I had the chance yesterday to share the idea for the first time. It's now time to let it out for the world to see.

Its two words, somewhat crass, but they describe it so very well: spiritual masturbation.

If you're sexually active, you know that the best sex you've ever had is when your biggest concern is the best experience for your partner. Not what you'll get out of it, not your experience, but what they get out of it. If they capitulate, the sex is great. Otherwise, you might as well be masturbating, cause you're only doing it for yourself, for your experience.

I've seen something happening in churches all over, that I will call spiritual masturbation. People who go to church and have no concern for what is happening to others, but are there for the experience, the high, the "feeling" they get. Church should be about God, not us. But far too often it's about what we get out of it.

How do I know this? Listen to people, what they are saying, what is most important to them: Those kids should be in the nursery. The worship just didn't feel right today. The music during the offering distracted me too much. They didn't chose the right hymns today. I didn't get the "up" I needed to get through my week. I need to get more intimate with God, I need to get that "experience", otherwise I'm outside of His will. I've got to feel that this is real.

It's time to get over ourselves, and get back to thinking about others. What about the mother of that kid? Shouldn't she be ministered to as well? (I am against having a nursery in a church, I am against children's church where the kids are seperate from the main congregation for the whole service) Isn't worship about God and telling Him how great he is, not getting intimate with God? Isn't our agenda in church a secondary thing? Isn't God the same whether or not our emotions confirm his presence? Isn't God always there anyway?

It's time to grow up, stop this "I've got to feel it" thing, and stop this spiritual masturbation and get back to being primarily concerned with the other people involved. Scripture is very clear that all the spiritual gifts are given for the benifit of others, not ourselves. We cannot minister to ourselves (it's as ugly as masturbation is). It's time to start minsitering in church, and making sure that everyone else is getting what they need. It's time to get back to the sex.

18 September 2006


So, for the freshest news: I have decided to accept the position. I will soon be the new youth leader at our church. This is an appointment that I accept with much trepidation. I've got to get a bunch of things organized, and get back into the swing of being in ministry. This is a volunteer position, so my free time will start getting chewed up and I'm going to have to start scheduling. But I am looking forward to getting back into teaching and discipling. I've been mulling over ideas on structure and how to develop the group, but most of that still needs to discussed with the head pastor. We're getting together later this week to hammer a lot of these details out.

Just thought I'd let everyone know. Life is going to get interesting. Maybe this blog will as well?

07 September 2006

May the Liver Quiver

So, I'm kinda in a pickle, or cunundrum, or hard place, or sitting by a rock in the afore mentioned location. I'm having a hard time deciding something. I've been given an opportunity, an offer to get involved in something. I've been asked to consider leading the youth group at church for a while. The present youth pastor has resigned, and they need someone to step in for a bit until they can decide what to do next. It's a smaller sized group, in a small church. There is a very diverse history ofin terms of what has been going on with the group over the past few years. In all, most of the kids are actually pretty cool. But I've got one big problem with the situation.


If I'm going to do this, I'm going to need to be far more disciplined, organized, and focused. I've spent the past year and a bit just kinda hanging around and enjoying it very much. Spending more time with family, and not having much to worry about or think about has been good. If I take this position, then I'm definitely going to have to leave that nice warm comfortable place that I've been basking in. Putting it like this sure makes it seem like the choice should be simple to make. But we are people after all, and it's very easy for us to talk ourselves into believing anything.

I know I need more discipline, and being more organized is always good. Being more focused is something I have very keenly desired for many years, but have not yet managed to find the secrets to (perhaps getting the first two into line will help? Just a guess).

I need to make a decision on this sometime soon. I'm currently considering the pros and cons of this decision. I've explored possible outcomes, possible opportunities, possible pitfalls, possible traps. All of those are just part of the adventure. And this could be a very big adventure. Should we ever shy a way from adventure?

The main thing is this: most, if not all, of my major decisions have "felt" right. My gut reaction has usually if not always been the best choice. But there are times when the almighty "gut" gives not even a quiver. Nothing, nada, zilch, zero.

So, on goes to analyzing and contemplating... either until one option appears to be the absolute right option, or until the gut quivers.

Any thoughts?