Renewed Focus

One of the ways CMM is celebrating 2021 is by looking at HOW the gospel is changing men and women in their ministry. The gospel not only has power to transform, it is power. We want to let the gospel do its work! As do Gospel Coaches like Bob Klein. Recently, Bob was coaching a pastor struggling with how to respond to the political turmoil in the U.S. He had this to say,

"As I began a coaching appointment this week I asked a pastor simply, 'How are you doing?' He said, 'It's hard to focus on anything, hard to work on my sermon. How can I watch people justifying things they do? How can I respond when Christianity is represented as justifying what happened yesterday? I feel the need to say something prophetic, to address these issues.'

"You can imagine the many different directions we could go in this conversation! These are complex, multi-faceted issues. As I listened, I noted that he felt anger and hurt. He sensed a desire to distance himself from certain events. 'What if I say something and lose a big part of my church who don't agree with what I say?'

"At the same time he sensed that courage in this time was to not remain silent, that he needed to speak truth no matter the cost. 'Believing the Gospel can't just be a quiet, uninvolved spiritual pursuit for people. As a pastor, I need to shepherd people with a prophetic voice that speaks to responding to these events, in ways that are faithful to God's word. I don't want fear of man to inhibit me or my people.'

"In each coaching call, I aim to bring the Gospel into the center and make it practical, to impact what we discuss. So I asked, 'What are the small g gods, gospels, and salvations at work in your heart regarding these events and issues and how to respond?'

"As we considered this question, we identified how these issues and responding to them can become matters of seemingly ultimate importance, eclipsing the heart issues addressed by the Gospel. Finding a prophetic voice in how to respond can become a small g god with a false gospel. It's like these issues call us onto an off ramp, into a vortex of debate on what is the correct public policy. These debates become ultimate in our thinking, creating divides between us as we line up for and against positions.

“Galatians 5:6 says, 'For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.' In seeking to express a prophetic voice we can get diverted into a vortex of seeking to 'have my take' make an impression on the discussion. Our effort to speak into these issues, as important as they are, can't become ultimate, but must remain penultimate. Otherwise our urge to have a voice becomes an enslaving false gospel, a performance we must do 'just so' in aiming to be validated in our own, and others', eyes.

"The work of the Shepherd must always be to keep our eyes, and our hearers eyes, fixed on heart issues of trusting in the True God, His finished work for us on the Cross that makes us accepted and perfect before God. That prophetic voice, that message, must always remain ultimate. As important as our discussions about how to respond to events are, those discussions cannot become ultimate.

“So Gal 5:6 could be read, 'Neither [responding this way to this issue/event] nor [not responding this way to this issue/event] counts for anything, but only faith working through love.' If our response, our quest for a voice, our belief about how to respond becomes 'insisting on our own way' (1 Corinthians 13:5) we find ourselves dividing each other, not loving.

“This pastor found a renewed call on how to focus on his sermon and work. Keep his eyes on the finished work of Jesus. Any effort we give ourselves to, no matter how important it seems, when doing that becomes more prominent than trusting in Jesus's work on our behalf - that is deadly doing. We must put it in the penultimate place, not raise it to ultimate.”

We find it amazing how God gives “ah-ha” moments to the people that are being Gospel Coached. Remember, you don’t have to walk through your ministry alone. A Gospel Coach can help you focus your thoughts and strategies back on Him. Click here to learn more today.

1 Comment

John Smed - January 20th, 2021 at 9:11am

Con this is a wise helpful message. May God use it to encourage and reconcile