What are your means?

It has become increasing apparent that many people see others as means to their own ends.  In truth, I understand that for a movement to happen and if it’s centered around an organization, there should be a common focus and goal you are striving to.  Unfortunately, many people in the Church have taken this attitude with everyone and often not for a Godly purpose, but for their own comfort and ease.

  • I was going through notes from board meetings at a church a while back and the leadership had suggested that there was a money problem.  The church wasn’t meeting it’s financial responsibilities.  The solution that was outline?  Get more families that will pay tithe.  There was a chart of how much extra a month was needed and how many families giving an average of different amounts it would take to meet that.  There was no mention of actually cutting back on expenses that were being incurred.  This became culture then within the church as it was dictated, repeated, and pushed by the leadership.

    The problem obviously, is that this group saw new people as a means to get what they wanted.  And what they wanted wasn’t souls saved, but paying their bills.  Even deeper than that was their desire to continue to spend as they wanted instead of cutting back.  It’s like I talked about in my last post, they focused on things they couldn’t control instead of taking an honest and maybe painful look at their own spending.  If there was any indication that the spending that was taken place was following the will of God then that’s one thing, but looking at people as a commodity to fill your coffers is selfish.

  • I’ve worked for people before that saw employees as a necessary evil.  They didn’t trust them and didn’t do anything to help them grow and develop their skills.  They were just worried about work getting complete.  That’s very short sighted and burns people out usually.  It also says that the worker is nothing more than a mechanism to achieve what you want.  The attitude is usually, “Hey if it helps you then great, but that’s not my concern.”  Again, people are a means to get to your ends.  You have the right to do that as an employer, but it doesn’t help morale.
  • I’ve spoken with leaders in churches and non-profit organizations and when I sit back and think about the conversations, I realize that if they were interested in talking to me at all, it was usually only in as much as they thought I could help them with their kingdoms.  They ask questions but usually it’s so they can launch into how they’d answer that question.  They might talk about me joining them but primarily because I would fill a need they have.  Again, if I happen to learn anything then that’s great; a win-win.  But mostly they are solving a problem in their own organization more than they are looking to truly help you along in answering the call you feel God has on your life.
  • I have known girls that have been obsessed with getting married.  So much so that they see every single guy as a possible husband.  Because marriage is the ultimate goal, the guy becomes nothing more than the means to get to that ends.  Maybe they’d never admit it, but they latch onto anyone that will stick and do what they can to get a ring.

In my life, I have met 2 people recently that completely buck that trend.  In both cases, these men are as much or more concerned with God’s call on my life as they are about how I can possibly help them.  They talk to me for the sake of a relationship with me, more than what problem I can make go away for them.  There are interactions when those are addressed, but I’ve never felt I was simply a means to their end.  Unless of course their end is helping people grow and answer the call God has on their life.  They aren’t heavy handed with their agenda nor do they skip out if you tell them no.  Shocking to people who don’t act this way, they still get things done.  Things still move forward for them because people are working with them and are happy to be doing so.  Dr. Ron Blake and Rev. Terry Weyman are these men and they’ve revolutionized my view on how to treat and lead people.  People are not commodities to them nor are they simply a means to their own ends.  They don’t seem to focus on building their own kingdoms but His Kingdom.

So let me ask you, what are your means to fulfilling the call on your life?  Are people nothing more than a vehicle to get what you want or are they people for you to be in relationship and engage in life with?  There are far too many of the the first set of examples I gave and not enough of the 2 men I mentioned.

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