Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Leading on empty

I have been reflecting on the news that John Piper is taking eight months out having watched him be so honest before his church.

For those who don't know him, Piper is the 'Lead Pastor', as the American's say, of Bethlehem Church and the founder of Desiring God. He is a prolific writer and international speaker. I discovered him through my love of the works of Jonathan Edwards and his book God's passion for his glory.

I have no doubt that Piper is far from perfect. He comes across as a man of very strong views that he often offers with great passion.

By his own admission, ministry is all-consuming and, as he says, all of us must be sure to have our priorities in the right order: God, wife and family, ministry/work. Piper has such a profound anointing and is very 'famous' in his own circles. Most preachers, if they are honest, want to be famous (Bloggers too, that's why I consciously don't have any 'blog stats' for this site). Preachers do have a few people who may listen to the sound of their voice but they are always keen for a few more. Of course, it's about the lost, the church and God's glory but given the choice a big crowd is always better than a small one.

What is our greatest danger? As this post reminds me, it is Pride.

What a thing then to lay it all down.

What a thing to give up your public platform, your fame, your writing, your whole ministry to the glory of God.

Piper is not perfect. Nor am I. Nor are you. But he is prepared to let it all die and face the trouble and uncertainty that may now come.

In a meeting last night, my 'Lead Pastor' read a quote from the journal he wrote on a recent visit to the Congo.

Jesus promised his followers that they would be three things:

1. Absurdly happy
2. Entirely fearless
3 Always in trouble

I am going to read one book as a result of this that has been recommended to me a few times. It is called Leading on empty. If you are a Pastor or if you are not but you are a sensing that you are losing your edge, getting stressed, have your priorities misaligned, are not sleeping or are aware of your pride then maybe we should read it together.

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