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

How The Church Is Different

Proper church order stands in marked contrast to the self-made and self-authorized teacher who gathers admirers with their checkbooks.  The church that Christ is building and Timothy is called to serve has checks and balances.  It’s not “Timothy’s church” or “Timothy’s ministry,” but Christ’s, built on the foundation of the apostles.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 107

Ambition Unleashes a War of All Against All

…ambition unleashes the war of all against all, where each of us becomes a little emperor.  Left unchecked, we come to the place where we cannot submit to anyone or anything.  We along choose what to believe, how to live, and what sort of church appeals to us.  But since not everyone will be as successful in fulfilling their ambitions, the cream wiull inevitably rise to the top and those most gifted at appealing to (and manipulating) our choices will become our defacto rulers.  Apart from our Servant King, who reigns through his ordained means, constitution and offices, we will be at the mercy of self appointed despots who rule according to their own whim.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 104

We Can’t Invent or Reinvent Ourselves

We forget that we can’t be happy by looking for happiness; we can’t be successful by aiming at success; we can’t be passionate by trying to be more passionate.  We need someone other than ourselves to love, desire and trust.  We can’t invent or reinvent ourselves.  We do not choose our own nature from a supermarket of unlimited options.  That is a fable we keep telling oursevles as we fly with waxen wings toward the sun.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 103

What the Cross Does and Does Not Do to the Sinner

The Cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him.  It gears him in to a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect.  To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.”  To the egotist, it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.”  To the thrill-seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.”  The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.

A.W. Tozer

as quoted by Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 101