I talked to someone recently who was willing to change.
It was refreshing. He had an opinion, a strong one, but he was willing to talk about it. And you know what, he was willing to at least examine whether or not he might be wrong.
I almost had a hard time believing it. I wasn’t exactly sure how to respond. I don’t think I was surprised as much that he was willing to change, as I was that he was willing to change.
Now I need to be sure I’m clear here.
I’m not talking about him specifically.
He’s a humble man and I should have known better. He’s always proved himself willing to listen.
I’m actually talking more about the male gender. I don’t know if this is true in every church, but one of the things I’ve seen church planting is that a new church often attracts men, especially middle aged men, who are just flat out arrogant.
From my perspective, the arrogance of younger men is a little different. It’s more cocky, but if you love them at least they’ll usually listen. And older men, at least the older men I know that are still coming to church, they have been refreshingly willing to listen.
But there is a certain kind of middle age man, (emphasis on certain kind, I’ve got a number of really godly middle aged men at my church)there is a certain kind of middle age man who typically is just not.
I call him the middle age drifter.
I don’t call them drifters because they have left one church for another. I call them drifters because they hardly ever stay at any one church for long. Typically we’re talking, months.
From the way they tell it, it is because there just aren’t any good churches out there.
I used to believe them.
It definitely made me feel good about what we were doing. But now, when someone says that to me, especially a middle aged drifter, I’m a little more doubtful.
I know there probably aren’t that many good churches out there. I know that there are alot of churches with problems out there. I know there are really good reasons to leave a church. I know that some places in America it is really hard to find a good church, but still where I’m at, this isn’t like Turkey or Uzbekistan or any place like that.
There are churches out there where you can hear the Word.
The tricky thing with most of the drifters I’ve met is that they usually know the Word. A little.
Spend some time with them though and you find out they think they know it alot. And they really want you to know that they think they know it alot. They’ll quote a reference and ask if you know it. Or they’ll thank you for the message because it reminded them of some truths they already learned along time ago.
It’s not just that they think they know alot, though. Some of them actually might. It’s not like that in is a sin. The real problem is an unwillingness to learn any more.
I think this is one of the things I love most about my dad, he’s been studying the Scripture for years and years, but when he comes to church and he listens to someone, he’s still taking notes. I can’t count how many times he’s come home from a church service excited about an insight.
I guess I’m rambling but I’m mostly writing this down as a note to self. I’m on my way to middle age and when I get there, I want to remember there is hardly anything uglier than a proud Christian middle age man. I mean, proud non-Christians aren’t that pretty either but at least they aren’t using the Scripture to justify their pride!
So Josh, remember no matter how much you might think you know you still don’t know that much. And what you do know, you usually forget. And what you do remember, you need to be challenged to apply. You haven’t arrived and you won’t until you get to heaven. You have nothing to prove.
Just sit down and listen. Oh yeah, and learn!