And another thing Heavenly Father – somebody has to talk about this, because it’s one of the church’s dirty little secrets . . . I always get excited when another pastor recognizes and grieves over the same things I’m seeing and grieving over. In my opinion dear Father, Pastor Kent Carlson is refreshingly honest, and brutally accurate, when he writes, “For some reason Christian leaders are more candid about sexual lust than ambition. Yet it doesn’t take a supernatural gift of discernment to know that ambition is there in embarrassing abundance.” He goes on to add, “I often hear Christian leaders say, ‘Perhaps I am ambitious, but I am ambitious for God.’ Well, maybe they are, but I find it curious that the vast majority of their ambition is directed toward the success of their own particular ministry. If we are ambitious for God, I suspect God may often have us giving ourselves with reckless abandon and boundless energy to something that neither brings us any recognition nor benefits our particular ministry.” (The Renovation Of The Church)
I really do wonder Father, what you think of all our ministry “success” here in North American. Do you get as excited as we do when we measure ourselves against our favorite metrics (bodies, buildings and buck) and declare victory? Or do you chuckle at our definitions of “success” and our frenzied pursuit of those definitions?
This is all truly sobering for me to ponder. What do you see Father when you gaze at your leaders in North America? Do you see women and men who love you first and foremost, or do you see women and men in love with naked “success” that has a Jesus-label slapped on the package to cover over our ambition?