Run Your Leg of the Race2
At the end of our lives, hopefully we’ll be forgotten and people will be marveling and worshiping the One we lived our lives for.
“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
We are here to simply run our leg of the race. I feel so passionately that today’s pastors are being crushed by the weight of trying to measure up to the ministries of others. And when I say ministries, I almost mean careers. Not quite, but almost.
It’s no longer enough to lead the music at your church, you have to have a hit record out and folks must be singing your songs in their churches.
It’s no longer enough to be a worship pastor, you also have to have a vibrant solo career. Your worship team must have a sweet band name and be leading at conferences.
It’s no longer enough to faithfully serve as the pastor of a local congregation. You must be cranking out best sellers and speaking at everyone else’s church.
I am not saying that any of these things are wrong in and of themselves, but simply that it's OK if that's not you! Allow your heart to rest in Christ. He is the goal, the prize.
I remember seeing the Olympic torch go by in 1996. I was 19 years old and my family and I waited along a downtown Jacksonville road to see the torch on it’s way to Atlanta. I remember a lot of things. It was hot! There were free commemoratives bottles of Coke, and the atmosphere was electric! This was like witnessing a bit of history.
I imagine what it must of felt like to be selected as one of the lucky athletes to have the honor of being asked to carry the torch!
How exciting to get the call! Then the thought of what it will be like, the anticipation and then the big moment!
I remember when that torch went by in 1996. I could just see it over the heads of the folks in the crowd. I remember the torch, and I remember seeing the Olympic flame. Set in Athens and bound for Atlanta! It was actually pretty awesome to watch. I saw someone carrying the torch as well. Who? I don’t remember. I kind of remember a head bobbing up and down, but that’s about it!
You see, I wasn’t there to see the runner. I was there to see the torch.
Pastors, we are the runners. Our calling is to lift high the banner of Jesus Christ. To make much of Him. Folks aren’t at our churches to see us! They are there because they need Christ! How painfully sad if the primary result of our ministry were to be the building of our own notoriety. So rest in Him. Serve Him with all you have and run your leg of the race.
At the end of our lives, hopefully we’ll all be forgotten.
David Champagne (@DavidChampagne) is the South Campus Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida.