Elijah was a human being just like you and me. James, the half brother of Jesus, said that. I find it is easy to make Elijah extraordinary, so I don’t have to be, but the truth is, he was ordinary. What makes ordinary people stand out is extraordinary decision making, and nearly anyone can make an extraordinary decision. Plus, if you look at the ordinary nature of today’s Christian, it doesn’t take long to realize that there is a very low bar making it almost too easy in many ways. Most often, the line to cross in order to make such a decision is the line that divides fear and faith.
Consider some excerpts from Dave Browning in a piece he wrote in 2007:
Faith or fear. These appear to be the options, for you individually, and for Christ the King Community Church as a whole. In life, these are the two different driving forces. There is an invisible line that divides them. One of the greater decisions a church can make is deciding which side of the line they want to be on.
On the fear side you take a defensive posture. You view people as potential threats. You spend a great deal of energy preventing the worst. You put in place a lot of policies and protocol to keep bad things from happening to good people.
On the faith side you take an offensive posture. You view people as the prize. You spend a lot of energy promoting the best. You put in place a lot of leaders to make sure good things are happening to bad people.
You know when you are on the fear side of the line when you keep hearing words like no, accountability, process and authority. You know when you are on the faith side of the line when you keep hearing words like yes, support, story and empowerment.
Every ministry must pick a side. At CTK we have made a decision to walk in faith, instead of fear. We have decided to not put the energy of our organization into protecting ourselves. Instead we have decided to put the bulk of energies into reaching out, knowing that we will have to be responsive to messes as they occur (which they most certainly will). This decision - to be responsive instead of protective - frees up significant time and energy for the mission.
So we pick a side...fear or faith. Both choices have their own pain, only one a virtuous outcome. Neil Maxwell said, “It is better to trust and sometimes be disappointed than to be forever mistrusting and be right occasionally.”