Thursday, September 6, 2007


Years ago, my sons bought me a music tape for my birthday. Since they are practical as well as generous, they made sure that the music was the kind they themselves wouldn't mind listening to. The group is called Spin Doctors; and to my mature, evangelical shame, I must confess that I still like some of their music (Stone him! Yes, stone him!). One song in particular evokes feelings I have experienced in the ministry. It’s called Jimmy Olsen Blues. It paints a somewhat humorous picture of Jimmy’s frustration as he vies with Superman for Lois Lane’s attention. He sings; "I can't believe my dilemma is real, I've been competing with the man of steel."

I know just what he means. It sounds a lot like my own laments when I foolishly compare myself to other pastors who seem to have all the talent, charisma, grace and breaks. When I really want to draw blood from my psyche, I say things to myself like; “Rats! I’m not Super-Pastor. I don’t leap tall pulpits at a single bound. I’m not faster than a speeding youth director.” Do I dare to show my face around real pastors; Super Pastors?

In my saner moments, I realize that this is not only my own problem. We all experience feelings of inadequacy. Of course, never at a pastor’s meeting or anything like that. The good news is that when Paul spoke of each of us as individual members of the Body of Christ, (1 Corinthians 12:12) he was championing individuality within unity.

We are unified by our allegiance to Christ, not our sameness. In other words, God has chosen to build his Church from diverse types. Literally, E Pluribus Unum; out of many, one. This is a liberating concept. God can, and actually desires, to use you right now. Just as you are. You may not get Lois, but you don’t have to be Superman, either.

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