One of the mainstays here at the church told me at the last board meeting (it was said publicly before the administrative board so it’s not something told to me in confidence) that he thought I was sent to this church to help him pray more. And he definitely did not mean because my preaching convicts him to pray. In context, I heard him say that my actions in the last year have had him praying more (probably for patience). And while I’m not labeling him as such, I can definitely drive a typical, established, comfortable church person crazy. I know that is true. I certainly don’t purposely irritate people for no reason. I believe I am doing the best I can in being obedient to Jesus.
I do know for sure that God did not call me to be a pastor so I could sail along with the status quo and oversee stagnant and dying churches. He called me like He called Peter and Paul – to be a bold and radical follower of Jesus, whatever the cost. I want to be a Christian whose heart is on fire for Jesus, who has no fear, and who speaks the truth of the Gospel no matter the consequence.* I did not say yes to the ministry and to Christianity just to be a nice person. Our UMC bishop whispered in my ear, “…make a difference wherever you go.” I have been called to turn the world upside down. And if you are a follower of Jesus, you have been called to this as well.
Michael Yaconelli says in his book Dangerous Wonder, “I want to be dangerous to a dull and boring religion. I want a faith that is dangerous…”
And apparently God can use that to lead some people to pray more.
*Michael Yaconelli Dangerous Wonder