Peashooters and Bazookas

Years ago, I ran an internship in Kansas City where one of the girls in our internship that deeply loved Jesus decided to quit the internship. As a leader, I was deeply saddened by her decision to pursue ministry training and opportunity elsewhere. The other leaders and I began to challenge her to stay in the internship. In so doing, we started using strong words like, “selfish and rebellion.” Of course, we felt those words were true. We called it tough love. In retrospect, it was not tough love. It hurt our pride.

Our friend and senior pastor stepped in and challenged us to see the young lady from a different perspective. He talked about what God was doing in the girl. He kindly rebuked us for using such harsh words. In a flash of unforgettable wisdom, he said, “Men, you carry peashooters. Stop shooting with bazookas.” He was right and I’ve never forgotten it.

Over the past two years, I have been amazed by the bazooka carrying parishioners, bloggers and pastors over the Ted Haggard scandal. Some point and shoot at Ted. Others fire away at church leadership. Most claim to know more than “the average person.” Many think they have “inside information.” As a pastor at New Life since June of 2000, I’m sad too. However, let’s put the bazookas down.

Ted admits to weaknesses. New Life leaders don’t think they are perfect. They did a good job in a hard scenario. Overseers worked hard to demonstrate grace and truth. There’s only one Jesus. He’s the only perfect one.

So, put your bazooka down and pick up a shovel. I’m a peashooter. So are you. Let’s build the Kingdom of God instead of shooting at each other.