So Many Systems, So Little Life (#518)

"If you can systematize it, you can monetize it." That advice was given by a consultant to a group of ministers telling them how they can derive more income from their ministries. Brad joins Wayne again for a discussion of his recent article, Monetizing Ministry as they explore why we have created so many religious systems, from institutions to curricula as a substitute for helping people into a transformative relationship with Jesus. At the core of all of these systems lies someone's need to make a living rather than to freely give to others what God has given them. And yet these systems never pay off what they promise, which can only be gained out of a growing relationship with God himself. For those who have felt like God is not reaching out to them in that way Brad and Wayne spend some time hoping to give you a different way to approach it.

Podcast Notes:
Wayne's article on Monetizing Ministry
Our latest update from Kenya
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  1. Podcast #518. Around minute 34:00 of the podcast, Brad refers to an article that I think Wayne must have written about” God watch my need”? I couldn’t understand and was curious about the reference and if it is still available?

    Thanks. Looking forward to part 2.

  2. For far too long, I let how I felt about God… and how I interpreted the world around me to form my view of God… until a season of deep pain came that brought me to a cross road… either God is who he says He is or He is a lair and I am a fool for following Him… So when I felt abandoned… instead of telling my self I am abandoned… I wrestle the lie with the truth… He will never leave me or forsake me… When He didn’t feel loving… I grabbled with God is Love… Some of these truths I had to wrestle all the way to the ground until I wasn’t holding lies about God against His true character. Years ago, I heard Wayne say, when things are not as we hoped they would be… telling us that God is not love… He prayed… show me what I don’t understand about your love yet… Now I have rest in this journey of Love… His love is as deep as the ocean and is infinite …. So what I understand about God’s love today… will pale to what I know of His love a year from now… 5 years from now… because He desires to lead us into the most Loving relationship we can ever experience.

  3. Ro elliot, thanks so much for sharig your thoghts. It touched something deep I also am workig through at this time. Thanks and blessings, Sue

  4. Jesus made Himself of no reputation, yet we as followers of Jesus often are called on in the world to establish a reputation in order to maintain a sense of power and control. I am currently going through a difficult work situation in which nothing less then perfection is expected. Needless to say, I am coming up short all the time, and am nothing short of discouraged. But it is so typical of what the world is striving for, and THINKS it can attain, which is a recipe for insanity.

    Being that it’s Super Bowl time, I am reminded, Wayne, of a past podcast where you told about the price coaches for the Packers under Vince Lombardi had to pay to continue to coach for him. To be willing and able seems to be such a soul-wrenching exercise, but for I presume most in the world who are under the control of satanic forces which are prevalent and numerous, although the task proves futile, it is the only way they see to survive and thrive in the world.

  5. Thanks, Wayne, Brad. Wayne, that’s kind of what I was asking you about recently – about our spiritual instincts vs. following principles, hermeneutics etc. I have had so many people say to me “I never hear God”. I think they confuse what they feel, their whole set of emotions, with what their hearts say. It’s hard to pinpoint what your heart says but somehow you KNOW. I just finished listening to “The Shack” this afterboon and I knew what my heart was saying (God was saying): When you feel abandoned you blame Me for not showing up because that’s what your alcoholic father did to you. It will be some time before you learn to perceive Me when it feels like a desert. Your whole life is orchestrated around that.

    • Evgueni, I believe many people’s first impression of God comes from their earthly fathers. If they were neglectful and abusive, then they conclude that God is also. I know I did, until I found a personal relationship with Jesus.

  6. Thanks for taking about the worth and value that we have seen in the interactions through Jesus and the father. Previous to listening to this episode, I was thinking about how to express this idea. I have resently felt like a way to think of this is that Jesus is empowering. In the interactions with “sinners” there was an encouraging empowerment through his interaction. The woman at the well reminds me of this. She was not cowering and groveling to repent once encountering Jesus. This helps me to learn to stop allowing guilt to control the loving interaction with Jesus as he helps me identify areas of sin or growth that he wants to work out of me as I relate to him. Thanks for talking about gods engaging love.

  7. Brad I laughed out loud when you talked about the times you are really broken being when you’ve “shot all the bullets out of your gun”
    I was so sure that the next line would have been “and through my foot!”

  8. We have a need for a “dignity of self”, because this is our false self, the self we have built up over the years to gain some ability to operate in this world. We gain a perception of our self from external sources as children which is built on as adults by, in many cases, something “given at a cost” by the man from the front if you follow the steps 1 to 7 of his systemised model. Of course the shame that comes in the failing of that system for you will kill you and your dignity. So in the end brokenness is the key, in the breaking, in the “quitting”, being at the end of yourself you find that God is. God is not into helping self, he is into helping you lean into him so that CHRIST is your life and not yourself because he knows that in that is LIFE
    He comes along and gives us HIS dignity and validation, so as we recognize our union with him and therefore walk in HIS righteousness, HIS dignity, HIS perfection… so the external dignity, and the old man or false self has no place anymore and we fall into LOVE. We are intrinsically dignified, due to HIS view, his vision of us.

    To see that, we need to be able to hear and see ourselves as he sees us. It is hard to stop to listen because, it seems, we are scared we won’t hear because God doesn’t speak. But God LONGS to communicate with his beloved awesome kids. He is ALWAYS finding ways to catch our attention enough to help us stop long enough to HEAR him. I would love if that does not first occur in brokenness, because brokenness hurts. However we are a society that THRIVES on self-help, we have it in sewn into our history, “God helps those who help themselves”. Weakness is despised, and independence and self-made men are revered. God does not break us, but it is in our failure to perform, to meet those expectations of a society that is only about success that we suffer shame and breaking. Then we can hear and He is big enough to take any conversation you want to throw at him, provided you are willing to hear his answer. To hear God, it seems to me that all you need is to be honest with yourself and be willing to go there.

  9. Hey guys, I’m a regular listener. This episode, and especially the last 20 minutes, has impacted me more deeply than probably any other episode I’ve listened to in the last few months. I especially loved the sentence by Brad which went something like this, I know God loves me but I have to work hard provide for myself. That has been a theme of my life that I heard from my dad from a very young age. I don’t think I realized before how deeply that is rooted in me, & I just felt a loving pickaxe starting to loosen the soil around that root. This is going to be an interesting and exciting experience, I think. Thank you for tackling this subject. It goes deep into my heart personally as an entrepreneur and someone who wants to love and minister to people, but who is also trying to find the edges of both so that I do not let them intermingle in the wrong ways. Thanks again.

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