The globe and beyond
The unthinkable has happened. I am behind on my National Geographic magazines.
My usual policy is to drop whatever I’m reading the moment a National Geo arrives. I devour the mag, then go back to my previous book or magazine. But in November I got so caught up reading Danny Silk’s book Culture Of Honor: Sustaining a Supernatural Environment that when my December issue landed in my mailbox, I figured I’d just finish the book before getting to the magazine. But as much as I loved the book, my time for reading was so limited that I rarely made it through more than a few pages a day. I was making very slow progress.
So I decided to take the book to Illinois with me when I went to visit the Far Away Sparkette and her family, which was due to expand any day. In fact, it did expand very quickly because I arrived around dinner time one evening and we were at the hospital at 6:00am the next morning gearing up for a big surprise. No time for reading.
I came back from Illinois and before I could finish the book, the January issue of National Geographic arrived. I stood there and stared at it. Two unread copies of National Geo. This had never happened to me before.
I’ve still not finished the book, either. Which is actually fine with me because this book is so good that I don’t want it to end. It’s a game-changer for me in that it has put words and direction to what my heart is desiring. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that, however. The book is really directed towards top leaders in the church, and I’m not one of those. It’s also directed towards those churches which adopt the principle of five-fold ministry, and I don’t attend one of those, either (although I’d like to!). So I’m not sure what to do with all this great stuff I’m chewing on right now. All I know is that I want to keep reading it over and over until it sinks all the way into me and completely transforms my ideas about church government and leadership.
Today I read something that really made me stop and think. The author said that many times people really want the “culture of honor” in their church but don’t actually achieve it because they are unwilling to sacrifice some sacred cows. I got to thinking about sacred cows. Some cows really are sacred. Some are just cows. Probably most are just cows. And I wonder…am I pasturing any sacred cows? Do I have beliefs, attitudes, and practices that are based on traditions, habits, or a limited interpretation of scripture that I refuse to re-examine? I’ve sacrificed a lot of sacred cows on a fiery altar over the past ten years, but that doesn’t mean that there may not be some bull stinking up a few corners.
I’m glad I don’t need to go wandering through the alleys of self-examination in order to find out. All I have to do is ask Him, and He’ll let me know everything He wants me to know, in exactly the right timing. He’s excellent at that revelation thing. I’m glad for that, because I really want to grasp this idea of a culture of honor. It is not anything like I’ve ever seen practiced in any church I’ve ever been a part of. That’s not to say I’ve only attended dis-honoring churches. The opposite of a culture of honor isn’t a culture of dishonor, but a culture of control. And control doesn’t always look like you think it would. Sometimes it just looks necessary…sometimes it just looks like making some good rules in order to keep the peace.
But maybe good rules aren’t actually the greatest way in this upside down kingdom of God.
I’m going to have to read this one more than once, I think. But maybe I’ll get in an issue or two of National Geographic before I start round two.