Jesus: "You think I died on a cross to make people nice? You think I want to be relegated to the status of motivational speaker? Listen, I don't even like football, and I definitely don't like nice people. Look at my disciples! Talk about loud, obnoxious, rude, flaky-hey, these guys were anything but nice. Remember when 'Mr. Nice Guy' John wanted me to send fire down on a little Samaritan village because they wouldn't let us stay for the night? "Start telling parents that their sons and daughters should take a year after high school and do missions in South Africa and see how long you last. Tell them it isn't a good decision to make their kids go to soccer camp instead of church camp and see how supportive they'll be. Truth is, I came to ruin people's lives-just like I ruined yours. I came to turn people's lives upside down. Remember all that stuff I said about being a sword and turning parents against children? I wasn't kidding."Update: Yaconelli on how he would be remembered:
I just want to be remembered as a person who loved God, who served others more than he served himself, who was trying to grow in maturity and stability. I want to have more victories than defeats, yet here I am, almost 60, and I fail on a regular basis. If I were to die today, I would be nervous about what people would say at my funeral. I would be happy if they said things like 'He was a nice guy' or 'He was occasionally decent' or 'Mike wasn't as bad as a lot of people.' Unfortunately, eulogies are delivered by people who know the deceased. I know what the consensus would be. 'Mike was a mess.'
How shall we rest in God? By giving ourselves wholly to Him. If you give yourself by halves, you cannot find full rest; there will ever be a lurking disquiet in that half that is withheld. Martyrs, confessors, and saints have tasted this rest, and "counted themselves happy in that they endured." A countless host of God's faithful servants have drunk deeply of it under the daily burden of a weary life - dull, commonplace, painful, or desolate. All that God has been to them He is ready to be to you. The heart once fairly given to God, with a clear conscience, a fitting rule of life, and a steadfast purpose of obedience, you will find a wonderful sense of rest coming over you. (Jean-Nicolas Grou, 1731-1803)
This post is from the defunct blog "Dying Church"Mike Yaconelli, who was tragically killed this week, challenged the church to get over itself. Mark Oestricher, president of Youth Specialties, said of Yaconelli:
He thought that the church needed to get over itself, stop taking itself so seriously, and focus more on being in love with Jesus. He had very low tolerance for bureaucracy and red tape and process and committees. Institutionalism was very frustrating to him. He would regularly talk about his desire that a church staff meeting would be about talking about Jesus rather than about programs and calendars and carpeting.This is the same guy who wrote words that began to shape my thinking in an article called Getting Fired for the Glory of God. What he said of youth ministry is probably true of ministry in general:
I'm beginning to believe that if those who are called into youth ministry follow the lead of the One who called them, getting fired is inevitable. Why? Because, in general, the institutional church doesn't get it. The institutional church has become hopelessly corporate, hopelessly tangled in a web of secularism. Instead of the church being the Church, it has opted instead to be a corporation.