Monday, December 12, 2005

Humble Circumstances

"The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position." James 1:9

I’ve been filling in for the Sr. High Sunday teacher for nearly four weeks. Students do very few book studies so I felt it to be worth while to study the book of James. A phrase has remained on my mind from the first study. It says that believers should take pride in their humble circumstances. It would appear that the original intent is a matter of economics; social classes of the wealthy verses the poor. But as an “associate minister I’ve taken a different approach.

My expectations of the church and ultimately students have been lowered a great deal. Maybe I expected too much. Maybe I’m being too idealistic. On the other hand, God can make the impossible possible. God has called us to be something for greater than what we are. It has been a struggle to except the way things are or when to be a prophetic voice to remind the collective Body that it is capable of much more.

This verse in James continues to speak to me because I am just the “associate” and self proclaimed youth minister. I’m not the Sr. minister. Like it or not, the Sr. Minister is the one that dictates the life of the church. His attitude becomes the church’s. His expression of faith becomes the expression of the church. He is the captain of the ship and it goes no where without his leading. I find this to be highly aggravating.

According to James, I should take pride in my “associate” status and be humble in the process. I know that my influence is minimal yet I continue to raise controversial issues than bear not fruit other than division. I’ve done this at two churches. The first church fired me. There’s been a time or two that some at the second wanted to.

So this is my dilemma. As an associate minister whose call is to raise the standard of faith of young people, should I remain silent of matters that do not pertain to youth? That would certainly make life more peaceful. But would I be doing God a disservice by refusing to talk? It is difficult to discern.

In the mean time, I must learn to take pride in my low position of leadership. At this point in time, most of the short comings are out of my control.