Steve Jobs, Al Davis, Roger Williams, and You
And I wonder, in the church world, if we don't end up spiritualizing a kind of salvation by works approach to ministry.
How big is big enough?
How fast is fast-growing enough?
How sold-out is sold-out enough?
How creative is creative enough?
I wonder if maybe some of us who work at churches or lead ministries or teach the Bible ought to start every day with those words: For it is by grace I am saved …
Ours can be such a strange little Christian subculture, where success consists in baptizing musical or cinematic or publishing trends from the broad culture and making them palatable for the faithful.
And we can look for our own smaller and safer versions of Steve Jobs, or Al Davis, or Roger Williams whom we think have reached "enough."
What if Paul's words mean there is no enough? At least not on this side. At least not on our own.
What if pastors and church leaders became the most grace-filled, grace-powered, grace-eased people in the neighborhood?
It's all gift, Paul says. Grace is a gift received by faith. And faith too is a gift.
It will turn out, in the end, that nobody had anything to boast about.
That will be our joy.
That will be our pain.
That will be the death of us.
And that will be our salvation.
John Ortberg is editor at large of Leadership Journal and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in the Bay Area of California, where Steve Jobs and Al Davis made their mark.
Copyright © 2011 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.