People do not care about - how much you know - they care about much you care.
This statement hit me like a ton of bricks! I first heard it while having lunch with a couple of leaders in my Church. The person who said it, an absolute hero of mine who has planted churches all over the world was talking to another lady about how we do Pastoral Care.
Often when we help people we want to tell them what we know. It almost gives us a feeling of satisfaction knowing that we have a chance to impart our God given knowledge onto someone else.
It almost gives us a feeling of false superiority that someone has to rely on us in order to get by.
As I was thinking of this statement the more I realise this applies a great deal to me. You see I could speak all day about Jesus!
How great is Jesus, you need Jesus to fix your life, Jesus is the only one who could restore your life and set you free from addiction. I could share about how he has transformed my life from the inside out and that is great! There is nothing wrong about sharing how great Jesus is however unless my care and love towards that person is greater than my knowledge, then really I have not changed anything.
In Australia it would be rare to find someone that has not heard of Jesus.
Despite opposition, religion is still very much taught in most Government Schools. In the Clarence Valley in Northern New South Wales where I was previously a Children's Pastor, every government school had a Christian SRE Teacher. The world gets it, they see what Jesus said and most believe that what he says is relevant to our lives because the Gospel has power, they see the power in what he says.
However, ask people what they think of THE Church- his hands his feet- and the reaction you will find is very different. Judgemental, hypocrites, backwards and bigots, just to name a few colourful words.
Now why do people all the sudden have this attitude? Now the purpose of this article is not to "put down" the local Church.
I believe the local church is "The Hope of the World." I believe all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to the local church to go make disciples of all the nations (Matthew chapter 28 verse 18). However, I think the local church has often at times missed one crucial ingredient.
I love what Eugene Petersen writes about it in his paraphrase of 1 Corinthians. “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.” ( 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 1).
I know exactly what that rusty gate sounds like and it’s a horrible ear piercing shrill in my ear. Humans at the best of times don’t like being told what to do. It seems to me that people are more frustrated, angry and bitter than ever before.
Society seems to be under a heavy burden and the last thing they need is a church without love. Why don’t we be people that don’t fulfil a need when we see it but walk them through it, walk alongside them, support them, befriend them?
When I was a Children’s Pastor, I was talking with another Children’s Pastor, one of the top ones in this nation and all the sudden we started talking about our local schools. She works with a bunch of children that can be a test for the great people in the public school system.
Now she thinks the school system does a great job in what can be very difficult circumstances, however one of her criticisms she has of the school system when dealing with difficult children is that, “they don’t journey with the child or the parent.
They don’t walk beside them, in love, patience and grace, they just tell them ‘this is not acceptable’. They are too quick to judge and they seem to expect these children to be people they are not. They seem to want to kill any personality that seems to be different,” was just one of the criticisms she had.
The answer is simple, the school is there to educate children and give them the best outcome. However, they are not there to love them and give them patience and grace. The Church does have that job and our job is to share it with the world.
Some of the most empowering moments in my life has been when someone has not just told me how to be a good Pastor, but actually walked alongside me, supported me, given me grace and patience that I have not deserved and modeled servant leadership to me. That is what has helped me to model that same grace and patience to other people.
So I would just encourage you if you are reading this, don’t please people by your knowledge, impress them by how much you care and love. That is something this world is missing.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores in Northern New South Wales. Ben was previously working in the media before accepting a call into Pastoral Ministry. Ben has just started writing with Press Service International.