I first want to start off this post with a brief explanation. As you may have noticed, Jason didn’t write on Monday. He and I (Alicia) were pretty sick. As you also probably just noticed – I am writing today instead of Chris, who has a big event this weekend and needs to put all his time, energy, and attention there. But that’s what ministry is all about – rolling with the punches and working together as a team. Thanks for your understanding.
Secondly, I want to make you all aware of something. Jason’s grandmother passed away yesterday evening. I tell you this for two reasons, neither of which is for a barrage of sympathy. 1). To praise Jesus with us! No, we’re not jumping for joy that Grandma died. We are simply joyed to have a grandmother who knew and loved the Lord very much. She created a culture in her family that was passed through the generations and helped shape Jason to become the man of God that he is now. Grandma is with Grandpa in heaven. We can only pray to continue and strengthen that same legacy with our family. 2). Please be praying for us and Jason’s family as we travel to Wisconsin for the funeral next weekend. It will be an enjoyable time with family, but will certainly have its ups and downs.
And finally, today’s post!
As I was driving home from work this afternoon a profound thought crossed my mind. What makes someone or something seem amazing? Let’s be honest, we throw that word around A LOT! Whether it’s pizza, your recent local restaurant find, chocolate, your spouse, your ministry (hopefully), that game last week.. you name it. We attribute “amazing” to a lot of different things.
Amazing is defined as “causing great surprise or sudden wonder.” So couldn’t it be that ghost that popped out in the ride at Disney? No, not quite. Just because it’s surprising doesn’t make it amazing. Amazing comes with a good connotation – maybe not by mere definition but definitely by our cultural standard. We don’t say it’s amazing when we find out a trusted colleague or an esteemed leader commits a grave moral or ethical act, though it is certainly surprising. What sets something amazing apart is it’s wonder. Something amazing makes you stop and think. It is often awe inspiring in some way. Maybe something is amazing simply because it’s so good that we can’t find other words for it sometimes!
First of all, God is amazing. But why is He amazing? So was my lunch this afternoon.. This is when I wish we had different words that denoted “amazing” that were reserved just for Deity. The simplest, most logical explanation that God is amazing is, He is “out of this world.” He is greater and different and infinitely greater in everything imaginable than anybody else! Even Scripture says that no amount of words or books – nothing – can describe how amazing God is!
Let’s take that same principle in our every day lives. What makes something amazing? Simply that it is something we cannot amount to. When you hear about a 8 foot tall man from Africa somewhere, that’s amazing. Why? You will never come close to 8 feet tall, and chances are you may never even encounter someone so tall. It’s out of the norm. It’s an anomaly. It’s extra-ordinary. It’s “amazing”. When we say the functions of the human eye are amazing it’s because there is nothing that compares. When we examine the sun, moon, stars, galaxies, and so on, they are amazing because nothing and no one else can amount to it! And we say that dessert from our favorite restaurant is amazing because nothing can compare (or so we say) to it either.
Take it one step further with me and make it a little more personal. What makes an amazing Christian?
Ouch. Tough question, huh? If you were to ask any given Christian that question, chances are it would go something like this: “You’re an amazing Christian if you always do what’s right, are kind, and follow Scripture. Oh, and don’t forget church involvement – that’s key too!”
WRONG! By it’s mere definition, amazing is something that makes you stop and go “WOW!” So what would a Christian’s life have to look like for someone to stop and be amazed at them? Unfortunately, in today’s culture, not much. One of our leaders was talking to our students in Sunday School about reading their Bible through in a year. The students were amazed at the concept, thinking it to be some great feat. Is it just me, or does that break your heart? You only have to read 3 chapters a day to read the Bible in a year. I’ve already read 4 books this year. Needless to say, reading your Bible in a year is not something that should amaze us. We should be reading and knowing our Bibles cover to cover more than once a year, to be quite honest (I’m talking to myself here too). Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen Book of Eli, it is a must-see for you mature and maturing Christians and ministry leaders out there. Yes, I know it’s rated R. Yes, I know it’s gory. But you’d be truly amazed at the ending (sorry, no spoiler alerts today!).
I’ll close with this challenge. Like I said, it doesn’t take a whole lot to amaze people in today’s culture, especially when it comes to Christianity. But let’s strive to become amazing Christians. To be so completely lost in who God is and absorbed with His Word that it oozes out. Make people stop dead in their tracks out of amazement, not for their sake, but for God’s. Jesus drew attention to Himself, He wasn’t always safe or nice, and caused a lot of ruckus. But He is as amazing as it gets! The great men of faith these past few hundred years did a lot for God’s Kingdom. But really they didn’t do “much”. They were in love with God, His Word, and His world. They knew God’s calling in their life and acted on it, no matter what the risk. And with as few risk takers there are in today’s world, it wouldn’t take much to become one of those amazing men and women of God that are tomorrow’s history. All it takes to be amazing is to live above the norm. It looks different for everyone, but as Christians we’re called to do that anyways. So what does it look like for you to become an amazing Christian? And what’s stopping you?
Posted on January 20, 2012, in Christian Living, Leadership and tagged amazing, Authentic, Bible, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Culture, Faith, Family Ministry, God, Jesus, Leadership, Life, Parenting, Pastor, Religion, Risk, Student Ministry, Wonder, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.