Monday, October 19, 2009

It doesn't take all of us

I’m working on an upcoming message this morning and studying Judges 7 and had a thought I hadn’t really considered before:

It doesn’t take all of us.

One of the phrases many pastors (including me) use of a lot is along the lines of:

God is calling us to greater things in His kingdom and it’s going to take all of us working together.

The idea is to make everyone feel significant and included. The hope is to engage everyone to use their gifts. So we teach that we need all of us contributing – each piece of the puzzle working together. We tell our congregations and staffs – I’ve told congregations and staffs: It’s going to take all of us.

But it doesn’t.

That’s not to say that not everyone is significant. Everyone is. Each of us was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” And everyone has a gfit that can and should be used for God’s glory advancing His Kingdom. But that doesn’t mean it will always take all of us to accomplish the task or the vision God has placed before us.

Consider Judges 7.

Gideon (Jerub-Baal) had an army of 32,000 ready to attack the camp of Midian. If I were giving the pre-game speech I would have said something along the lines of:

“We can do this – even though Midian is undefeated in conference play, we can win this battle if we work together. We can do this – but it’s going to take all of us!”

But God says: “Send anyone who’s afraid home.” 22,000 leave.

New pre-game speech: “OK we are down 31% in numbers but those left are fearless and committed and ready for some action. We can do this but now it’s really going to take all of us!

But again God says: “Not yet.” Then follows this odd selection process involving how we drink water from a stream. 300 make the cut.

32,000 down to 300 (that’s a 99% decrease) . By the way, the 300 then proceed to smash the Midian camp to pieces (with 31,700 home in their tents).

Could it be that it doesn’t take all of us of us after all?

Could it be that all that is really required is the right 300 and God?

Now I’m not suggesting that we began to tell people that we probably don’t 99% of you – not exactly a strategy for church growth – or more importantly reflective of what we believe.

But responding to God's call and vision doesn’t take all of us. It only takes those of us who are called and up to the task.

Just a thought.

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