Tuesday Thoughts July 18, 2017
The views express in this article are entirely my own and NOT intending to slander or persecute any person, organization or group. It’s really a sad day when you have to issue a disclaimer to the Body of Christ…but, here it goes.
Much has been made in recent years about entertainer Katy Perry’s reported rejection of the Church, Jesus and all things Christianity. I have read several articles on this and the resulting persecution her parents have endured because of their prodigal daughter. For some reason I continue to think on this and my heart is heavy for the prodigals to come back to the faith.
While what Katy reportedly says about Christianity breaks my heart there seems to be another underlying issue the Body of Christ is not getting: these are prodigals looking for their place and WILL wake up one day and realize their need to “come home”. How will we respond to them at that time? Will they be persecuted for leaving the faith to begin with? (I’m sure some will) Or will they be welcomed back like the prodigal son was in Luke 15? I submit to you, some of these “entertainers” looked for their place once in the Body of Christ and was rejected because their gift didn’t fit the norm. Will it happen again? I sure hope not.
Because musicians and entrepreneurs tend to be very creative in their gifting, the church by and large doesn’t know how to handle them or where to place them in most of our paradigms for ministry. The list of popular entertainers who actually had their beginning in church are numerous: Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, Statler Brothers, Jessica Simpson…and Katy Perry just to name a few.
While the lust for power, money and fame is definitely sinful at it’s root (it caused satan to get kicked out of heaven), could another issue we are not willing to look at is how the church has failed to honor and recognize the creative talent in people and allowed them the freedom to expand and express that talent for the Glory of God. Our blindness (and some insecurity about the anointing on their lives because it’s different than ours) made it easier for them to sell out to the world and the devil for fame and fortune, than to persevere within a church structure that was uncomfortable with the anointings and giftings they have.
I am chuckling as I write this because I remember as a tennager in the southern United States the turmoil created in the early to mid 70’s over drums, electric guitars and (yes) even sound systems in the church. It’s sad we are always the last one to embrace technology and incorporate it into reaching the harvest.
Another issue we are going to have to address in the coming years is adequate compensation for these with these tremendously creative talents. Including better compensation for most pastors. I don’t know a single pastor who is in the ministry as a career or for money. I know they are around, but I don’t move in those circles (Praise the Lord). I’m not saying everyone in church should be paid some kind of salary. If we do that many parishioners would begin to ask for compensation for simply warming the pew. You cannot expect everyone to start in ministry the way we began and just persevere because we did. There are many weeks I still don’t receive a salary; and I’m not complaining, nor am I trying to brag about my sacrifices for the ministry. I am simply stating the reason I am able to endure the kind of stress that goes along with leading a faith based ministry, I had a spiritual father who demonstrated to me the blessing of sacrificing and dedicating my talents for the Glory of God…then trusting God and releasing my faith to make provision.
The point I am trying to make is what we fail to honor will leave our lives: and our churches. Some have tried to equate honor with idol worship. Honor is not worship: but worshiping our creator in spirit and in truth will teach us to honor those who labor and are gifted among us. I think Jesus may have said something similar to this: Love God with all your heart…and your neighbor as yourself.
I know several people close to me who used to serve in full time ministry. They were a tremendous blessing everywhere they went. But because they simply did not fit into a traditional ministry role, their gift was frustrated, rejection of the gift took place and they (all of them) eventually left ministry. They still love Jesus with all their heart and lead their family to church every weekend, being faithful to the local church they are a part of. But I still often wonder: if people had only realized their gift was more of an entrepreneurial gift, not a standard “ministry gift” (Lead Pastor, Youth Pastor, Children’s Pastor, etc) and allowed them to be placed in the area of their gifting, would they still be in full time ministry today?
We are in a season in which Holy Spirit is calling us to reestablish the concept of honor in our lives and ministries. As we learn to honor these amazing creative talents God is raising up in our churches and ministries, I think we will see less of them turn prodigal…and follow Jesus’ footsteps instead of Katy Perry’s footsteps.
Just my thoughts.