VX Church: An Emotionally Healthy Close Pt 4

Posted: September 1, 2011 in christianity, church, mission, personal, theology
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The one thing that has been highlighted to me the most about our church closing is the 5th principle of emotionally healthy churches: Receiving the Gift of Limits.

I believe our whole society is in need of embracing this principle. We have been
saturated with the ideals of “bigger is better”. From supersized value meals to
huge expensive SUV’s we have been overwhelmed with the message that more is
always the right thing. We have been raised to believe like the US Army that we
can be an “Army of One” or have been serenaded by R. Kelly into believing that
we can fly. I have not been immune to this pervasive spirit of the age and only
now have come to a point in my life where I have begun to question, critique,
and ultimately reject it.

All of us as individuals have a God given capacity. This changes according to our life stage and situation and we must adjust to where God has placed us and the gifts and abilities that he has given us. It is up to us to discern our limitations and for me personally after seeing our church get evicted, over half of our leadership team operate in burn out mode, and experience numerous financial setbacks I had to face up to my limitations. For our church to continue would have meant that I dug in my heels and persevered for at least five more years. It would basically mean that we would have to start all over again. Not only was I not up to that task but the rest of our team was not up to that task. Many think the decision is not spiritual and we should have persevered but I think that to look at these things with a blind
eye and continue on is not only unspiritual but just plain stupid!

But receiving the gift of limits is not only for the times
of loss and defeat it is something that we must embrace throughout our
lives-especially in the times of success and abundance. These are the times
when we are most tempted to take on more than we can and to bite off more than
we can chew. This is the Achilles heel that I see for many in church
leadership. It all looks good on the outside but inside all of the duties and
responsibilities, the speaking engagements, and the limelight can be too much
and cause you to die on the inside.

I for one have realized that the senior pastor role has caused me to die on the inside. I have been in ministry for close to 10 years now and it finally hit me that I have spent most of that time feeling tied down with responsibility. When you are pastoring your main responsibility is to show up. When nobody else shows up you are supposed to show up. The problem is I have not always wanted to show up and it has worn me down. Sometimes I just want to take the weekend and go to Yosemite or go to a Les Nubians or Mos Def  concert. Sometimes I want to go to somebody else’s church. Sometimes I just want to divert my creativity to poetry and music. I have felt tied down for too long and I need some freedom. Some people do not need this much freedom and they have been blessed by God to stick with their congregation through thick and thin. This is not my gift. I actually like being around a variety of different people and speaking to different audiences. That’s why one of my future goals is to be a seminary or university teacher. You get a new batch every quarter or semester and they give you time to write and be creative.  It is just how I am wired and if I receive it as a gift it can probably lead to greater blessing than trying to fit the mold of others.

  1. kebbiel says:

    Amen to that Ramon! I totally agree that in America we forget to balance life, even in the church! Best of luck teaching, I think you would be an awesome professor!! I’m teaching my first course this semester and it is a lot of work!—Debbie

  2. Matthias LBJ says:

    I think you have potential as a professor and professional speaker. I agree that the university setting would be ideal for you because of the time allowed for creative adventures. I am grateful for the time you have spent with us, showing up for you being more then half the battle.

    You were reintroduced as the shepherd, when you came on as the lead pastor and looking back it doesn’t make much sense. Looking back knowing you as I do now, through this blog and as a friend, I am not sure what I should compare you to. Now I think you would make a great guest pastor or event MC, but that does not seem like the best title for you.

    I knew the gift of limits back in 2008 when you came on as lead. There was a moment where I realized how full of myself I was and at the same time I was being asked to take on more and more, when I was barely able to do what I was doing. Oh I could ramble here, but I am glad to know limits as a gift. Thanks for the way you taught that this past Sunday.

    • mayotron says:


      Glad to see that you are on the path of balance and health. I would agree those titles are not the best although those are the times when I flourish the best. I think most of the time the essence of who we are and God’s call on our life cannot even be summed up in a title. That’s why James Brown didn’t call himself a singer…he was the Godfather of Soul!

  3. JasonsBlogg says:

    Awesome, once again! I appreciate you sharing these insights with transparency and humility. Many ministers and church leaders would not share these things because they are afraid of losing status (I’m going to blog about this soon), but you are not concerned with that. This reminds me of Jesus’ humility (philippians 2:7). Keep it up bro.

    And for the record, many church’s face similar crossroads but instead of making the healthy decision, they continue to go down a road of unhealthiness which never ends well.

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