Do you remember the bracelets, pumper stickers and t-shirts a few years back that said “WWJD?” They were all the rage and people everywhere were encouraged to ask themselves in every situation, “What Would Jesus Do?” People weren’t encouraged to actually do what Jesus did, just asking the question seemed to be enough (but that’s another blog). Like all gimmicks and marketing campaigns, the WWJD phenomenon burned out. (The other day, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “WWTTD?” – “What Would Tim Tebow Do?” – I refuse to ask or answer that question.)
This morning (Wednesday, January 25, 2012) I had an interesting conversation with a group of guys about church and ministry. After the conversation, while I was driving home, the following thought hit me: If Jesus was a pastor in the United States, what would He do?
I think that’s an important question because I think there are many things we do in the church (and as pastors) that are totally unnecessary and at times unbiblical.
What would Jesus do?
Would he walk the streets, getting to know people?
Would he spend the bulk of his time, energy, and church budget on making sure the weekend services were technically sound and aesthetically pleasing?
Would he have try-outs for his church’s praise team?
Would he study homiletics?
Would he be a member of the Rotary?
Would he write books and travel the globe speaking at conferences?
Would he do hospital visitations?
Would he help feed people?
Would he be bi-vocational?
Would he sit on boards and discuss strategies and outcomes?
Would he start satellite campuses?
Would he help people find jobs and pay their water bills?
Would he spend thousands of dollars on “branding” and marketing?
Would he refer to himself as the Great CEO instead of the Great Shepherd?
Would he vote Republican or Democrat or Independent or not at all?
What would Jesus do?
Well, here are some of things he said he would do:
Matthew 20:28 – “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Luke 4:16-21 – 16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
I have been a pastor for more than 20 years. Let me be honest, when I compare what I do to what Jesus said he would do, I am ashamed. My prayer is that for whatever time I have left to be a pastor, I will do more of what Jesus would do and less of what religious people expect me to do.