It’s confession time. I got ticked yesterday…while I was preaching! So here’s the deal–we’ve spent ten weeks fleshing out Acts 1 & 2 trying to understand and then become more like the Acts 2 church. When I asked for a response about inviting and welcoming some people next Sunday to a special event, only about 25% of our people (in one of the services) indicated they could participate in that kind of ministry. I was really upset and almost lost my cool. That doesn’t happen often.

So here are a few questions I have on that…

  • Is it that we tend to spectate more than participate–even when asked to respond with a raised hand?
  • Are our people more honest than most, not wanting to commit to something that they suspect they will not do?
  • Is it that my expectations are too high?
  • Was the anger in me at that moment righteous or carnal?

This morning, as I was spending some personal time in the Word, I came across these verses from Ezekiel 33:31-32:

“So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!”

I also received an email from a friend that put it this way..

I’m sure there are many reasons why some people were uncomfortable to do anything besides just sit quietly in their seats and listen.  (That’s the type of church I grew up in, by the way.)  And I’m sure that many people just won’t come to the front of the church.  I’m not saying that’s right, but I wouldn’t assume that they weren’t on board with your call.  I actually did come up, but stood along the wall.  Coming forward should have been an easy thing for me to do, but I hadn’t done it before.  And I’m sure many others were wrestling in their own minds over that, too.  And if nothing else, I guess it shows that there’s still work to be done (no surprise, right?).

Bottom line? We had an awesome Sunday. So many people are on-board without question. I don’t think it was right that I got ticked. In fact, now I’m ticked that I got ticked…

4 thoughts on “Ticked”

  1. I appreciate those words, Amber. You have wise words and I will take them into account. There is no doubt that God’s standards are high, His calling clear, and His passion extreme. So should ours.

  2. I think you should have been ticked. When you react strongly to things, people can feel and see your passion and the importance of what you are saying. I know that some are not comfortable with, raising their hands or going up front to make public proclamations, but at least some will have sensed your emotions and taken notice that this is a BIG DEAL! Your expectations are not too high. God expects us to pursue holiness, if that is not too high an expectation, then certainly inviting someone to church is not too high! Thank you for being so passionate about what God is using you for, and allowing God to use you.

  3. Having grown up in the church I responded to many alter calls for various things & always with the best intentions. However, the expectations never matched the results for a variety of reasons. I became extremely frustrated & also reluctant to respond to alter calls or showy show of hands because I was made to feel guilty if I didn’t since then. I don’t want to make a fake response led by the emotions of the moment but it didn’t stop me from purposing in my heart to seek the Lord’s leading in what I was being challenged to do. One of the areas I have been frustrated most of my adult life is when I hear or read what I should do but lack the how to needed to “getter done”. It was sort of like hearing that great pregame “win one for the gipper” speech & getting all fired up running out on to the field only to realize when I got out there I did not know the plays & ended up defeated. With God’s strength & power of His spirit I am working through this & for the first time in many many years I felt a genuine pull to go forward which I did. I am still not sure how this will all go down but this is what happens when we are working out our salvation.

  4. PI, you need to be patient with us. I think many of us have been comfortable with the notion that the Great Commission is just for those with the gift of evangelism. You have done an excellent job teaching us that we all can have a part. As you said on Sunday, Jesus will build His church, but we need to be willing to have a part in it. God has recently given me a few unique opportunities to invite people and I came forward hoping that He would open those doors wide open!

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