At the (amazing) event on Sunday night at Church of the Ascension my friend and colleague Geoff said something profound which I have been thinking about the last couple of days…
He talked about wanting to be invisible.
The idea that as he preached and ministered he didn’t want it to be about him, ‘Geoff did an amazing sermon’, but rather ‘wow God spoke to me and blessed me’, that idea that God is meeting his people so powerfully that those of us serving and facilitating are completely unseen because the focus and the attention is purely on Jesus.
As I thought about this quest for invisibility I thought the only time I notice the sound guys work is when it goes wrong, when all is working as it should, we don’t notice them because we are listening to something else.
The problem is so much of our fallen-ness wants to be noticed and be affirmed… but sometimes our desire for recognition and affirmation actually detracts from the person of Christ himself.
At a recent Mission Shaped Ministry Evening we were talking about leadership, and we asked about a biblical leader we admired, my friend Paul Hinkley (who is much wiser than me) said: “John the Baptist” and went on to talk about the profoundness humility at the heart of leadership conveyed by the wonderful words of John when he said “I must decrease so he can increase” that idea of self with-drawl for Christ’s glory.
Another story that I found beautiful and challenging was Bidds (another local Church leader) talking about a healing he had been privileged to be involved with, where a lady was powerfully healed from cancer. Bidds went along to her Church quietly sitting in the back row and heard her testimony, she talked about someone praying for her but didn’t say his name, nor did she say she went to his event, purely the story she told was about Christ healing her, the person and people who faithfully prayed and stepped out in faith and obedience went unmentioned and the glory went entirely to Christ.
I long to see people across this area talk about hearing from, encountering and being healed by Christ where the glory goes to him, not us.
Sadly I hear too often from the stage of big conference people talking about healing miracles and prophetic words as though they themselves had some divine power, rather than us all simply being followers of Christ who he delights in partnering with, who are blessed to be used by him in the advancement of his Kingdom and to bring him glory.
Let’s all take Geoff’s advice and have a quest for invisibility so people don’t see us but see Christ transforming lives.