Other People’s Mail

Jun 4, 2008

I had a problem when I was a kid…I was both fat and lazy.

One of my chores was going and getting the mail…and I HATED it because we lived on a hill. Which meant going and getting the mail was easy—the hard part was walking my big butt back up the hill to the house. It required work…and I didn’t like it.

One day I walked out of the house and looked at the mailbox across the street. It wasn’t ours…but, it WAS closer. “After all,” I thought, “mail is mail, right?” (I was only about six!)

I made the easy trip across the street, got Tommy and Glenda’s mail and strolled back into the house without even breaking a sweat…it was SO easy. Until…

My mother asked me, “Perry, did you get this mail out of our mailbox?”

“No ma’am, I got it from across the street…but it’s mail…and mail is mail, right?”

She explained to me that each home had it’s own mailbox and that the mailman delivered specific mail to each address…and what we needed to receive wasn’t what Tommy and Glenda needed to receive. When I complained to her that it was too hard walking down the hill and then back up she told me that, even though it was hard, that we needed to always go to our mailbox to get what was specific for us.

“Going to other people’s mailboxes will not help us…and we don’t all get the same mail.”

I’ve never forgotten that…and I think there are spiritual implications in that lesson as well.

I think one of the problems with people church leaders is that many of us seem to be obsessed with other people’s mail.

In church world I call it INSPIRATION without REVELATION. I’ve seen WAY too many church leaders go to a conference and hear about the God ordained vision that God gave a pastor…the problem occurs when they come back home and try to implement “the mail” that God delivered to someone else’s box rather than begging God to give them a vision that will set everyone on fire.

Can we learn from other churches and leaders? WE’D BETTER; however, we don’t need to focus more on their vision that we do on ours. THE QUESTION we must all wrestle with is how, specifically, has God called us to do church? It’s not going to look exactly the same…each mailbox is unique…

I don’t think the church necessarily needs more information—we can barely wrap our minds around Matthew 22:37-40. I don’t think we need more imitation—seriously, uniqueness is quickly dissipating, which is SAD.  What we need is gut wrenching, hell charging, soul stirring vision straight from the throne of God.

Church leader—think about it. It is HIS church. He cares about it more than you; in fact, the ONLY reason that you and I care about it is because He allows us to! SO…what is it that He wants with the church? What BIG DREAMS should we be dreaming? What ridiculous prayers should be praying? What extreme sacrifices should we be calling for?

Take a walk…go to the mailbox…delight when He gives mail to others…but BEG HIM for a special delivery of vision that, once received, NEVER allows things to be the same.