Let me be clear from the start: this is not a church bashing post. I don't hate the "bride of Christ" (for the secular among us, this phrase is basic Christianese among the churched- It translates to just another adjective for Christ's church. I'll be throwing of few of these odd phrases in here, likely. Bear with me). Rather, I would like to see her become more like the thing of beauty that Jesus spoke of whenever He talked about the "kingdom of God". Okay? All clear? Then, "Fire at will, Commander!"
"So, you're saying that people aren't special?" Nope. That's not what I'm getting at. Hang with me a moment here. I'm not even saying it's wrong to chase after desires. After all, the God-given ones are things He wants to give us, anyway.
You can see the problems inherent with this sort of teaching, already, can't you? It creates a "Rockstar" mentality: which is why you see the competitive D personality types who managed to jump through the hoops of holiness and religious bylaws going out and building ministries where they are going to prophesy to millions and save millions. It's always millions. In order to really please God, there's big numbers involved. (Does it drive anyone ELSE crazy to see the elders taking the body count during the church service? Or being asked how many were in your small group?)
Look, I get it. Every one of these churchy ideas has a grain of truth to it. Yes, each individual is incredibly precious. Yes, God probably does have a calling on each individual's life. There is a unique giant for you to take down that no one else can. But is this the Most Important Thing?
I can say that with authority because Jesus was asked about the Most Important Thing. Remember the rich young ruler? He'd kept all the Jewish laws and seemed like a good guy who really wanted to know. And Jesus told him: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself."
Jesus was asked the neighbor question, too. I can't better the story of the Good Samaritan. All I'm suggesting, is that maybe...just maybe...that little circle of people in your world--let's just start with the five folks who you run into the most in a given month, outside of your family--are maybe the ones God sent you to be loved on. Maybe it's just about them and Him. Because He loves them and says they're important and if they were really special and unique (which we say we believe), than they are worth spending ourselves on. Trying to discover how we can love them (because we usually can't figure this out on our own). Praying for them. Giving, but not letting them know it, if possible.
Well, if we as a church were really doing that, then there would be less finger-pointing at us. And we wouldn't come across as self-important pricks who only care about someone because they'll be another number who can be counted as being "touched by your ministry", and chalking up that tally to reach your million for the kingdom of God.
Wouldn't it be cool? To love on someone where no one else sees it. Where you can't get credit for it on earth at all? To give sacrificially just for the hell of it?
I think it would.