Impatience with the Ordinary

In most cases, impatience with the ordinary is at the root of our restlessness and rootlessness.  We’re looking for something more to charge our lives with interest, meaning and purpose.  Instead of growing like a tree, we want to grow like a forest fire.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 127

Stop Adding to the Gospel and Become Content

My thesis in this book is that we must turn from the frantic search for “something more” to “something more sustainable.”  We need to stop adding something more of ourselves to the gospel.  We need to be content with the gospel as God’s power for salvation.  We also need to be content with his ordinary means of grace that, over time, yield a harvest of plenty for everyone to enjoy.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page125

Our Problem is a Basic Discontent with the Word of God

The gospel keeps our eyes fixed on Christ, while the law tells us how to run the race.  But our tendency is always to add our own doctrines to the gospel and our own commands and expectations to God’s revealed Word.  No longer content with the gospel and the commands of Scripture, we begin to look for something more.  All the problems that I have described up to this point – and many others besides – result from a basic discontent with God’s Word.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 125

The Cure for Selfish Ambition and Restless Devotion

The cure for selfish ambition and restless devotion to The Next Big Thing is contentment.  But like happiness, excellence and drive, contentment is not something you can just generate from within.  It has to have an object.  There must be someone or something that is so satisfying that we can sing “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also.”

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 123

You Don’t Have a Holy To-Do List

But here is the good news: it is not your ministry, church or people.  You do not have to create and protect a personal legacy, but simply to distribute and guard Christ’s legacy entrusted to his apostles.  You don’t have to bind Satan and storm the gates of hell.  Christ has already done this.  We’re just sweeping in behind him to unlock the prison doors.  You  don’t have to live the gospel, be the gospel, do the gospel, and lead the troops to redeem culture and reconcile the world to God.  We are not building a kingdom that can be convulsed with violence like other realms, but we are “receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28).

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 119-120

Pastor as CEO or Shepherd

Yet the pressure on the pastor – as well as elders and deacons – can be great.  With the multiplication of ministers on staff, it is easier to gravitate toward a more hierarchical business model.  And it is less likely that the sheep will come into physical contact with their shepherd when they are consumers of a service that a CEO oversees.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 119

Their Position is Wholly Different

Pastors may have some wonderful things to say, and some personal stories to make us feel connected to them.  But in their office they are no longer private persons but Christ’s ambassadors.  Through this office, assigned to them, God himself judges, justifies and commands.  Similarly, elders rule and deacons serve on Christ’s behalf – not in their persons, but in assembly as office bears.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 115