Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hard Calls

The NFL was all in a lather over referee Ed Hochuli’s game-deciding mistake in Denver last Sunday. He blew a fumble call that would have sealed the win for the San Diego Chargers. They ended up losing. And for some people it was the end of the world.

My bet is that the mistake was hardest on Ed Hochuli himself.

Making the Call
I was a volunteer ref in a church basketball league for kids one year. It was one of those leagues where all the coaches had to take a turn reffing other games. I blew some calls. And for some people it was the end of the world.

But you know what? I liked the job. And it wasn't the end of the world for anybody. I liked working with the kids. And the coaches. They knew how challenging it was to make the hard call.

Congress should have made some hard calls a few years ago to regulate the Macs and our financial markets. This crisis is bad, but it won't be the end of the world either.

I sat with a mother recently as she wept over her son's arrest. She can't make anymore calls for him. Where is the father? I don't know. That was more the end of the world than Ed's call or even the financial crisis. Why?

Because it is happening far more often and has far longer consequences that an NFL game or a financial downturn. His life will be ruined and will ruin others lives for generations - unless Christ intervenes.

Who has to make a lot of hard calls?
I meet with several pastors and church leaders from various denominations, theologies and backgrounds each week for prayer, encouragement, mentoring and coaching.

And every one to a person this week has expressed that this battle leading the church is really hard discouraging work. And they (we) are making the calls to unify diverse churches, expand ministries, reach communities and mobilize hundreds of people to serve our King Jesus Christ and the expansion of His holy and gracious rule over us.

We are the ones who are making the hard calls and have the best chance to lead more people away from end of the world scenarios.

We need Christ to intervene through us all!
Everyday men and women on the front lines of ministry should be making hard calls. We need not fear an Ed Hochuli hullabaloo from the church if we are all a part of working in concert with Christ's interventions!

Our King is fully in control and works everything out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

If you are in a church where you are being led by self-humbling men and women who are imitating Christ Jesus and working to spread the gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, then thank God for them - and get trained by them, serve alongside them. The Church is God's only ordained institution for the redemption and restoration of the world.

Ask your pastors and leaders to teach you how to do ministry along side them. When church leaders equip and multiply volunteer ministers, we'll have an army of Christ's family making a huge difference in our city. Support and join with your pastors, elders and leaders. They will appreciate the encouragement.

I'm a lot like Ed the Referee, I'm harder on myself than anybody. Pray that thousands will answer the call to make the hard calls in life. Then millions will believe in the mercy and grace of God through Jesus Christ. Especially me of little faith.

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