I would be hard-pressed to find someone who is not living under someone else’s expectations. We go to work and have to perform up to the company’s or supervisor’s expectations. Students must perform up to the teacher’s expectations. Children must perform up to the parents’ expectations. Everywhere you turn, you are having to please someone.
In the effort of people-pleasing, we have forgotten to live in a way that pleases God. We will often sacrifice pleasing God in order to please people. Pastors do it too. We have expectations from our church members. They want us to preach a certain way or conduct ourselves a certain way. As a church planter, people expect me to be much more innovative than everyone else. People are expecting different for the sake of being different.
What about being Christlike? What about being genuine? Authentic? Led by the Holy Spirit rather than culture? To experience the glory of His presence without manipulating music, smoke, and lights? Cannot content of Scripture and a biblical understanding of God move us to experience Him in a way most professing believers truly miss?
As a pastor, I am sick and tired of reinventing the wheel. I’m sick of worrying myself sick because our church might not be attractive enough for some people. We must crawl before we can walk. People in impoverished countries are simply thankful to have Jesus, and we as American consumers want to try to top that. I know God’s heart must be breaking because we have a form of godliness but no power.
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” – Galatians 1:10 NLT