Front Door or Side Door?


This question “bugged” me for years.  Don’t laugh at me when I tell you, but I wrestled with this for a few years…“Are the weekend services to be mostly believers’ meetings with guests being made to feel as welcome as possible or one where the focus is on not offending guests while still serving the wholesome needs of the believers?”

Since I had heard from the Lord concerning the direction I was to go, I grew to feel it was the best way.  He gave me the idea…to me it was a God-idea.  As I began to obey, lo and behold, it worked.  Now the idea had turned to an ideal. Meaning, “I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.”

As you probably already know I fall into the “side door” category.  What happened is I began to look at other churches bigger and smaller.  When I compared myself to one I was doing good, but to others I was not doing so good. I had fallen into the trap of comparing. I finally discovered I could not fully enjoy what I was doing because there was always someone or something I could compare myself to.  Either I was in pride or dissatisfied.

Comparing ourselves among ourselves has been a challenge to almost every person.  It’s really not about them, but it is about me and what I am doing.  In our world we want to be bigger than, to be more spiritual than, to plant more churches than, to have more money than, to have better worship than, to be more Biblical than, to be better organized than, to be more balanced than, to preach better than, and be more famous than.We often say our services are longer meaning longer is better or we have short services meaning shorter is better.  I heard a person say, “We are growing and they are not growing and I know why.”  So we find ourselves tempted to move from comparing to judging.  You see if we can set up a comparison, we can develop a measurement by which to judge.

I think that in my case I needed to feel that I was okay.  Am I okay???  Am I doing well???  I would look around at others to see. We will never measure up if we keep an outward focus. Almost all of us are looking to something or someone as a sort of mirror to see how we are doing.  If we are looking to someone or something to see if we are okay we will never reach our maximum potential.The bottom line about comparing is that we are looking for something to tell us we are okay. Where are we looking?  What are we going to use as a reference point to say that I am okay? Where are we looking?

Well, we can only be faithful to what God has put in our hearts.  There’s something innate in us that wants to be right.  It’s hard for us to believe that we can all be right and yet, be so different.  Jesus’ desire is that none of us may be puffed up on behalf of one against another. (1 Cor. 4:6b)We each have a sphere and limits to those spheres.  God has appointed to each of us the limits.  Therefore, lets each be faithful in the dream, idea or mission that the Lord has appointed to each of us.  (2 Cor. 10:12-13)  Therefore, the reference point to whom we look for approval is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Since we are each in our own category or sphere by God’s grace, then there is no one else to compare ourselves to.  We are to follow hard after the idea, dream or mission that God has personally given each of us.  Wouldn’t it be good to let God be our reference?  What if we learned to check ourselves at the first thought of comparing or judging others?  After all, it’s up to the other person to follow hard after their vision.  God is the Judge.

So, back to the first mention of my past struggle.  Is it the front door or side door?  It’s not one or the other.  It is according to what God has put in each and every one of us.  We need to pray for every work that names the Name of Jesus as Lord.  We need to each make the reference point of our calling the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here’s where I started on changing my point of reference:

  1. Am I getting to know who I am in Christ Jesus?
  2. Am I progressively getting to know God, as a Person, better and better?
  3. Am I being faithful with what God has revealed to me as to my gift, and to the mission/vision He has deposited in my heart?
  4. Am I committed to give God all the glory?