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:
- Daughter of God
- Wife to Bruce
- Full-time financial analyst working 40 hours a week
- LifeGroup teacher
- Mentor to other writers in our writers' guild
- 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.