I’m Going to Cheat the Church

I’m going to cheat the church.

I’m sorry it has come to this, but I’m glad too. Cheating the church is going to be the start of a lot of new things in my life.

My pastor and spiritual father taught a class on this subject recently, in which he showed a video by Andy Stanley (Senior Pastor  of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia). In that video, Pastor Stanley talked about how the best decision he ever made was to cheat the church. See, he got a revelation one day that it is Jesus’ job to build the church (Matthew 16:18), not his. The church is the Body of Christ, and nowhere in the Bible does God command us to build the church. Serve it and love it, yes. But build it, no.

Pastor Stanley said that God does, however, command him to love his wife and serve her as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:25 says: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…”) But years ago, he had been getting it backwards. He had been trying to build the church, and had been asking God to love his wife and take care of her at home.

Oops. Uh, yeah, good point.

Well I have come to the point where I am going to have to cheat the church too. Let me tell you why, and I ask you to honestly review your own life in the same way as I list out my thought process below.

These are the roles I have in my personal life:

  1. Daughter of God
  2. Wife to Bruce
  3. Full-time financial analyst working 40 hours a week
  4. Intercessor
  5. Blogger
  6. Musician
  7. LifeGroup teacher
  8. Mentor to other writers in our writers’ guild
  9. Friend to many people I love

Those are my roles. Stop and figure out: What are yours?

Ok, now that we have those roles defined, let’s look at how they are balanced. What has happened in my life is that Roles 5-9 have crowded out much of the time and energy I should be putting towards Roles 1-4:

  • I have been spending too much time blogging, and not enough time in the Word lately. (I do have my daily quiet time, but I need more. Much more.)
  • My time is so crowded that I have not been getting good rest, and I haven’t been as sharp at work lately as I need to be.
  • I’ve been so busy doing church work that I haven’t had time to be a Proverbs 31 wife–and actually take care of my husband. If he’s hungry, I cook sometimes, but often he’s on his own. #failfailfailfailfail
  • My health has suffered. I’ve been walking but I need to hit the gym and lift weights and do serious cardio.

I could go on and on, but you get the message. My non-unique roles (things that don’t require me, and other people can do) have infringed on the territory of my unique roles (things only I can do).

Have any of your lower roles crowded out your unique roles?

Yeah? Good; I’m not alone.

So what do we do about it?

We cheat the church.

The church is the Body of Christ. My arena of the church includes:

  • my orchestra;
  • my LifeGroup;
  • my church’s worship department (which is my “watch” as an intercessor);
  • my church’s prophetic ministry department;
  • my sheep in my writers’ guild, and
  • YOU, my amazing readers whom I really do love and pray for earnestly.

But I’m going to have to cheat the church. Here’s what that will look like for me:

I can’t cheat the orchestra or my LifeGroup. I can’t stop being an intercessor, and I can’t stop attending prophetic ministry class. It’s an honor-and-accountability thing.

I CAN start delegating work in the writers’ guild more quickly than I had planned, and that will help.

But when it comes to cheating–the main thing is that I’m going to have to cheat you, my readers.

I’m getting away this weekend to pray about all the other ways I need to cheat the church. But as it stands right now, the only thing I’m sure of is that I’m cutting blogging back to 3 times per week.

See, I spend all of the available time I have to write putting up blog posts. Yet God has called me to preach, and I earnestly desire to record more podcasts and teachings–but I just don’t have the time if I’m spending all my available time on 5 weekly blog posts. Cutting blogging back to 3 times per week will also help me do some technical work behind the scenes. The site is running slow because I have some huge images on it. I have to replace almost every image, which means I have to revise 300 blog posts. That is going to take a huge amount of time.

Even more importantly, God has given me an ebook that I have to finish. The working title has been “What Happened to the Father’s Heart?” but I think a better title is “Unlocking the Secrets of the Father’s Heart: So You’ll Never Feel Rejected Again.” It’s the most important message He has ever given me in my life, and I want to be a good steward and not force Him to release it through someone else. It’s almost done and I have to finish it.

So I’m going to cheat the church: the Body of Christ. Maybe in other ways too. But for now, you’ll see me cutting blogging back to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Has any area of your life fallen apart from trying to build the church? If so, how do you need to cheat the church? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

 

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Comments

  1. Angela Bley says:

    Thank you Jamie for being a vessel to share the things you struggle with in your world. Thank you for the reminder of priorities. That’s so huge and we don’t even realize it.
    I am excited about your up and coming ebook “Unlocking the Secrets of the Father’s Heart: So You’ll Never Feel Rejected Again”. Great title! It caught my attention for you see that’s my biggest struggle. There! I’ve said it out loud before God and everybody. I struggle with this because of my Dad leaving the home, a broken 1st marriage, various friends and family members who decided that it wasn’t important enough to stick around. Rejected by people because I had a mess in my life many years ago. A favorite Uncle that I loved deciding to take his life and other examples. I do not play victim and will not use the victim card for I hate it however more than anything however this is an area where I have not be effective in overcoming. I would like to put this to rest and to more efficiently combat this when it comes my way. Anyway, thank you for allowing God to lead you, inspire you and flow through you. I love learning from you. Your heart for God really comes through your blog. Thank you.

  2. Madaline McFarland says:

    Jamie:) I do love you!! Thinking of you desiring to be a Mary instead of a Martha makes me smile. Don’t allow the thought that blogging less is cheating anyone. I will think of it as though Papa is going with you into the kitchen. You will be spending time with Him preparing the perfect meal that He would like to serve your readers. Together you will mix and taste, maybe even make a big mess to clean up. You will enjoy one another’s company with hours filled with laughter and sometimes tears. In the end you will rest in His arms as the sweet aroma of the meal you have prepared together cooks in the oven. We will not feel cheated at all! Instead we will wait in anticipation as a longing and hunger develops in our spirits. Like waiting for a spectacular holiday meal that has taken hours to prepare. When it is ready to be served, the message will flow from you like honey. It will be beautifully plated served with joy. As your readers break open this long awaited bread it will be multiplied in their hands and mouths like the loaves and fish til all who are hunger for this meal are satisfied.

    Enjoy your Awesome weekend without an ounce of guilt.
    If Papa is calling you away from something that is important to Him, then He is also calling someone else too it. Let’s pray that we all have ears to hear so that the mouths will be fed.

Trackbacks

  1. […] 2013, the Lord really blessed me and this blog. When I started cheating the church, He blessed it even more. Who would have thought? It’s amazing to see Him teach us and build […]

  2. […] I’m going to have to change. Repentance requires change. I’m going to have to rearrange my schedule, remove the idols, and prepare a pure offering every week. God would rather have my clean hands and pure heart, even if my hands have been muddy in the name of church work. […]

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