Is my life about promoting God…or myself?

I have steered clear about directly commenting here on the raging debate that occurred as a result of Driscoll’s interview in Christianity. I have written a few comments on other people’s blog responses, however, and it is the whole idea of celebrity Christianity that has stuck with me, and many others too. As a newbie writer I am held in that tension of wanting/needing to promote myself but it is far too easy to get caught up in the whole process of trying to get yourself known. As a Christian isn’t that beside the point? It’s all about dying to self and revealing the wisdom and glory of God through the way we live. I know when you make your living from an industry that hardly ever takes notice of unknowns there is an inevitability about trying to promote yourself to a certain degree. But the celebrity culture we have in western Christianity today is quite strange and there is something in the recent debate that we should probably be very grateful for – it has made a lot of us uncomfortable and made us turn to look at our motives once again.

Here’s what I wrote in response to one helpful blogger (and then thought it could quite easily be a posting on my own blog…so here it is! :) ):

As a new-ish writer I’m always so excited about new contacts I meet, but also get really frustrated when I see what a small world the Christian media world can be – and because I’m not that known I can be overlooked. I was having a little moan to God about this one day when I was suddenly stopped in my tracks – I read something a well-known worship leader wrote a few years ago but it was as if God himself was talking to me, reminding me that I’m called to be faithful where I’m at. Chasing after status can so easily distract you from the needs that are right in front of you. As a busy mum, church/worship leader, school governor etc I come across needs all the time. Am I doing all I can to serve those right in front of me or have I started to get impatient when someone starts taking up too much of ‘my’ time? Time I could be spending researching and writing? And why do I get disappointed when I read someone with a ‘name’ writing on a subject I know I could write on easily – or have pitched similarly in the past but was turned down? I have to remind myself to be grateful for every single opening God does provide for me, and juggle that with my other responsibilities closer to home. And yes, when you do have a platform of any sort at all there comes an added responsiblity. I have been writing about family issues, marriage and worship leading in the last week. But if I take a look at my own marriage, family, worship of God and discipleship of the worship team I am responsible for do those hold up to the same scrutiny I’m asking other people to do in my writing? The last thing I want to be is a hypocrite – and yet I think there are times that I am.

I think perhaps the thing we all need to bear in mind is that our lives, and our works, will be refined through the fire – and those things that were not of lasting, eternal worth will be burned up. Are we seeking after and promoting those things that will stand up to that test? God says that when we feed or clothe one of the least of them we are feeding or clothing Him – is that something we always remember or are we eager to get through that aspect of our ‘ministry’ so that we can turn our attention back to something that we feel will benefit us, or our careers? It is horrible to write that down in black and white and then read it back – and I’m sure that is not how any of us set out. But, honestly, when I’m tired and juggling too many things my patience and humility is in short supply and I guess there is a small element of that in the way I perceive things. If this whole Driscoll episode causes some of us to re-evaluate and re-prioritise then some good will have come as a result. Whether we agreed with him or not, were offended or not, isn’t the point. Can we look at our lives and be happy with the way they are going in terms of promoting God and His kingdom, rather than our own statuses and agendas?

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Discipleship, Leadership, On marriage, On parenting, On writing

4 responses to “Is my life about promoting God…or myself?

  1. Nice post Claire!

    I guess most writers undergo what you mentioned here, and being a freelance writer as well as a mother of two- I surely do have my hands full! Living in a family with kids and marriage as well as a full time house and work to see to, can surely get you frustrated and tired out. It doesn’t really leave much of time or energy to really sit back and enjoy your work or writing. I guess most of us juggle with things- yet we know God has given us the responsibility to multi-task and so we must…there are no ifs and buts in his kingdom :)

    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Hi Harleena

    Thanks for sharing – we sound like we have similar lives!

    Claire x

  3. Trudy Hobby

    Hi Claire, Thank you for your message. I want to ask you a question. How in your role as a worship leader would you manage a situation like this. You as a WL are aware one of your musicians has Parkinson’s Disease and cancer. His ability to speak is good but he insists on still wanting to lead worship and sing when his appearance and delivery is offputting to many of the congregation. Some of your musicians can’t work with him. He maintains he wants to continue despite other members having told him gently God can still use him in other ways. What do you do?

    • Hi Thanks so much for your comment and I’m sorry it has taken me a while to get round to answering it. It is really really hard to comment on a specific situation without having first-hand experience of it. I think there are questions to ask each of the people involved. For instance, why does he still want to lead worship? As leading is about glorifying God and bringing the attention of the people towards Him then if it is truly a stumbling block to the congregation then that does need addressing. (Have members of the congregation said anything, or are you as worship team members being extra sensitive and thinking it might be happening?) I can totally understand if he is finding it hard to accept the need to step back from certain things, and can also understand the desire to keep going for as long as he possibly can. Perhaps he could WL in smaller groups – such as prayer meetings or his small group where everyone should know him really well and accept him as he is… I would also want to know why some of the musicians can’t work with him. Is there a character issue there that needs dealing with? I hope some of that has helped. Do you get together as a whole worship team to encourage, teach, affirm, worship etc together? That can really help too – I have written a short series on pastoring a worship team on the musicademy site that you may be interested in… Thanks again for getting in touch.

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