I said a post or so ago that I needed to become more sure of what I believe and of what I am called to. Here are two challenges that face me.
The postmodern (or ultra modern) denial of absolute truth has a spin off that says people are never 'lost'. It is demeaning to talk of the lost. (I'm not sure if we should call them differently-found.) This encourages a softening of evangelistic endeavours. And besides it makes people uncomfortable if we put them on the spot.
I know what I really believe. I believe that people who have had the opportunity to know Christ and have turned him down, or not yet accepted him, are lost. I believe that he is the way to a greater salvation than we might find in the world. I don't want to intrude on people - their choice is their choice - but I do think that if I am a minister I should be clearly communicating what I believe to be the truth.
The other challenge is the sense that I get from the local church is that the minister is 'scored' by the number of visits made. With a visit missed giving a negative mark of about 20. I like to visit people and get to know them and I believe it is a useful part of helping people grow, but when it becomes a rod to beat the minister with it is a sad thing. I think that this is a losing system - the minister will never win, unless the church is fairly small. I could spend my life trying to please people by living up to their expectations and actually achieving very little at the end of the day.
Maybe it boils down to what we had as one of our Scripture readings on Sunday. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 'On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.'