This morning I continued my journey through and ending the book of Romans. I absolutely love this entire book and want to so stop and meditate on it for the next few months. There’s no doubt The Well is going to have a pit stop here before 2010 is out. I wanted to do a deep exegetical study on a specific book and I am feeling led this one is where we’re at as a church. Paul does something interested in chapter 16 verses 17 and 18 look what he says:
“Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. 18 Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.”
At one point he goes on to talk about wolves coming into the church. Satan early on Genesis is described as a snake. So there’s no doubt describing people like animals and using it metaphorically speaking is a Biblical thing. It reminded me of a book I read last summer by Mark Driscoll called, “Confessions of a Reformission Rev“. On pages 79 and 80 he gives a lengthy description of people inside the church. He says this,
“There was a season that was marked by intense spiritual warfare and demonic attacks that nearly killed me and the church. I had naively gathered people into our church but was not discerning as to who should be allowed to lead and influence others. Just as I thought we were coming together, things began to fall apart and heretics were seeking to hijack the gospel, false teachers were seeking to hijack our mission, and nut jobs were seeking to hijack our people. I painfully learned the important of evaluating people, and over the years I have noticed various kinds of people who come into the church.”
Horses: are vibrant leaders who pull a lot of weight and run fast. Horses need to have character, sound doctrine, and agree with the vision of the church.
Colts: are emerging leaders who need training, testing, and opportunities to lead. If properly broken in, a colt, can be developed into a horse.
Fish: are non-Christians who are spiritually lost and often not actively looking for God. Fish need a Christian friend to lovingly introduce them to Jesus and His church.
Eagles: are skilled leaders who are being developed within the church with the express kingdom purpose of leaving the proverbial nest and leading a ministry elsewhere, such as missions work and church planting.
Mules: are faithful workers who dependably and continually do whatever is asked of them in the church. Mules need to be thanked and protected from burnout.
Cows: are selfish people who wander from church to church, chewing up resources without ever giving back to the church until they kill it. A fence needs to be built around the church to keep the cows out.
Squirrels: are people who are generally liked because they are nice, but they rarely do anything meaningful. Squirrels need to be put to work in the church.
Stray cats: are socially peculiar loners who linger around the church. Stray cats need a friend to help bring them into the church and an opportunity to serve other people so that they can be meaningfully connected to the church.
Rats: are people who appear to have the potential to have a fruitful ministry, but they lack dependability, humility, and maturity. Rats need to be rebuked, and if they do not repent, they must be strategically ignored until they commit to no longer being a waste of time and effort.
Sheep: are people who have legitimate needs that require patient and loving support. Examples of sheep include widows, orphans, and those who are seriously ill or fighting addictions. Sheep need to be loved and served.
Ducks: are disgruntled people who continually quack about whatever they are unhappy about. Ducks need to stop quacking, or the pastor (s) must go duck hunting before the ducks drown out everyone and everything else in the church.
Wolves: are false teachers whom Satan sends into the church to devour Jesus’ sheep. Wolves need to be quickly identified, rebuked, and if they are unrepentant, they must be shot before their false teaching destroys people in the church.
Snakes: are evil people sent by the Serpent on a mission to destroy the church through anything from sexual sin to starting rumors. Leaders must stomp on the heads of snakes before they bite people and infect them with deadly venom.
I know this is controversial. My take on it is that I never want to stereotype anyone. I want to believe in the potential of someone right where they are. However, I also know from painful amounts of time and much energy you just simply can’t change people. The only way people change is through transformation in a personal relationship with Christ. I’m a young Pastor but have already learned that I can’t spend tons of time with everyone. I have wasted large amounts of time on people who I shouldn’t have, while that time was missed out with others that could have used it more. I’ve learned there is much truth to these descriptions and as a “Mother Hen” protects her chicks, as a Pastor I must do the same for the health of our church.
The cool part is this….. I have seen people who started as one become another with some encouragement, confrontation, and direction. In my own life I have been a variety of these animals. So…… which one or two are you? What can you do to take some steps to be transformed into the animal you were meant to be?