The Necessary Art of “Being”

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People

“Bad things can happen when maturity is more defined by knowing than it is by being. Danger is afloat when you come to love the ideas more than the God whom they represent and the people they are meant to free.” Page 42.


It seems like every car owner hates to see the “service engine” light come on their car. It’s one of those annoying parts of life that we have to accept.  But we don’t like that engine light coming on because of what it might mean.  It may indicate another expense, another commitment of time, and another problem that even when explained by a mechanic, we may not understand.  So, oftentimes we’ll just ignore the light as long as we can.  It’s easier to ignore it.

When I was a freshman in college, anytime I heard an unfamiliar sound under the hood, I would just turn up the radio so I couldn’t hear it anymore!  Not too terribly smart, I know, but somehow I survived all four years with the same car.  I was much more fortunate than a friend who never changed her oil.  Ever.  One day her engine stopped working all together and she had a perplexed look on her face when the mechanic told her she had to change the oil regularly.  Oil, she asked?

Although we can often get away with ignoring a sound under the hood of our cars, we really can’t get away with that when it involves our heart and our relationship with the Lord.  One “service engine” light for our ministries is when we forget to apply the truths of the gospel to our own lives.  If we’re not careful the subtle deceptions can give rise to a distinct distance between our hearts and our heads.  It may start out from the tyranny of the urgent when we find ourselves so busy and carrying such responsibility that we find it hard to spend regular time with the Lord.  The deceptive rust begins and unless we revitalize with the fresh oil of an intimate and honest time with the Lord, we can be seduced into callousness or bitterness. 

Perhaps it’s not the busyness of ministry that is the problem, but it’s a struggle with isolation.  Maybe you feel like if you let your guard down in order to be thoroughly honest about your life you may lose your job or you may look weak.  You may have bought into the lie that you have to be perfect in order to minister.   You might also be listening to the lie that you can handle this on your own.  And so you remain disengaged from others who can hold you accountable. 

Either way, if you don’t find your way back to a teachable and authentic heart it may lead to a growing distance between your heart and head.  Such separation is usually devastating unless the reconnection is made.  Your message becomes purely academic and your heart grows cold and impenetrable.  A very dangerous place to be.

So, ask yourself some honest questions.  You’re a pastor, youth worker, or Christian worker and such honesty is vital to your longevity and your effectiveness.  In fact, more importantly, it’s vital for your own heart and walk with God.  Have you allowed your heart to show others the truth without applying it to your own life?  Is it easier to show people their errors and think very little about yours?  Are you alone in ministry?  Is there someone with whom you can feel safe?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions please ask for help.  Reacquaint yourself with an intimate time with the Lord.  Find accountability.  

Become entranced by the grace and majesty of your Savior and less by the ideas you’ve grown more acquainted with in your ministry.  Remember what the flight attendant says in the airplane.  The oxygen mask goes over your face before you can help those around you. 



535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles