Saturday, September 02, 2006

Playing Favorites

This is the third post in a four-part series. Read part 1 and part 2 first.

This my Flock browser menu. Flock has made so many things easy, including choosing your favorite web pages. Just mark them with a yellow star!

Picking favorites is easy and harmless... for web pages. Picking favorites in church is just as easy, but not at all harmless.

Are you a musician or an evangelist? Do you prefer to write or speak? Do you love kids or the poor or the elderly? How does this affect where you serve in the church?

If you're like me, you are serving in the areas where you are most gifted and most passionate. I hope that is true for you. And if you're like me, you believe that your area of ministry is very important. You're right. But if you're proud like me, you are probably tempted to raise the importance of that ministry over the significance of the gospel.

In last Sunday's message on unity in the church, Joshua Harris encouraged Covenant Life: "Distrust your favorites." Why? The believers in Corinth were dividing over their most beloved orators, and we too can be tempted to foster disunity through choosing "favorite" ministries or pastors.

Joshua's main point was this:
Unity is maintained when individuals refuse to allow any other preference, priority, ambition or affiliation to be more important than what Jesus has done in his substitutionary death for them.
For those of us in media ministry, I ask this question: Does your affiliation with media or technology ever become more important to you than the cross of Christ?
  • When you are working with a pastor who is late in getting you message notes, are you more aware of your brotherhood in Jesus Christ than his lack of preparation?
  • When the guitar player wants to turn his amplifier up and you want to turn it down, do you remember that the price required to pay for your sins are just as great as the price required for his sins?
  • When a volunteer that used to work alongside you decides to serve in a new ministry, do you rejoice that he is continuing the to send the glorious gospel to the world, just in a different way?
  • When you think of that church down the street, what pops into your head: your superiority in media excellence, or your gratefulness for their partnership in spreading the one great message of history?
We all have different preferences. We all have different favorites. We all have different desires, hopes, goals. Yet we have only one Savior, Jesus Christ.

What favorite things about your ministry or your church threaten to dethrone Christ from his reign in your heart?

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