Featured Guest Blogger: CHAD ESTES!


I’ve been enjoying Chad’s blog, and social media shout outs for a while now; so I was quite excited, when this busy guy agreed to guest post here. It’s a joy for me to share things with readers here, including people. 

Chad Estes

 

Chad is a legend. Even “Biblical Learning Blog” (at http://www.biblecollege.org)  included his blog, Captain’s Blog, in their list of Top 50 Ecumenical Blogs. So, it’s really an honor to have him here.

When I asked if he would be a guest blogger, Chad mentioned that wanted to share his heart, and I hope you soak in his contribution.

Leave your comments, afterwards, and show him what a polite readership I am fortunate enough to have by visiting his site, and to say “thank you.” 

Chad, Thank you!

I Want You to Want Me

-Chad Estes

        What we learned on the schoolyard playground seems to hold true in life. Those with the mad skills are the ones in demand. Those who can’t keep their eye on the ball, or catch an easy pop fly are picked to play right field and bat at the end of the order. This peer rejection is like the sting of a wasp, and unless you get off the field, you will probably get hurt by the same stinger, over and over again. 

    Adults play this same game. We want to team up with those people who benefit us, and help us win. We do this in business and in social circles. We even do this in church. Those on the outside of our margins–because of divorce, financial status, education levels, or addictive behavior issues, maynot be the first ones invited to our home fellowships. It isn’t their children that we invite to spend the night with our children. 

   But actually my thoughts about rejection aren’t about being picked last; it is the rejection that comes from being picked first. 

What? 

Yes, there is also a rejection issue with being picked first on a team because, more often than not, you are being picked for what you can do instead of who you are.  

     This is acceptable as long as you can keep up with the performance levels, but if your stats ever start to stumble, so will your value to the team. 

     It would be nice if this didn’t happen in Christian circles but unfortunately, it does.

Many churches and ministries recruit to a position based on a person’s perceived contribution value (Do they have good speaking skills? Can they lead a team? Do they agree with my direction? Will they serve this vision?) like it was written on stone tablets. But, when recruiting is all based on performance there will be a day when those skills will slip, or someone, even more qualified will come along. And when our positions are challenged, we may resort to some sort of spiritual steroids to help keep us on the field of play. The bad thing is these unnatural growth hormones actually stunt spiritual development It’s a cheap trick. 

       Today, I had a meeting where I was being recruited because of my ministry skills. But, as I drove home, I realized I was actually feeling the sting of rejection even though I’d been offered a position. The recruiter wasn’t really interested in me as much as she was interested in what I could do for her. She doesn’t really know me, nor does she know my heart. And unfortunately with her priorities all about her vision, she never will take the time to know what my heart is about. And so though it is a heady offer, it is a path that leads to performing, pretending, and pain. 

       My real value is my heart, not my skills. The skills are deteriorating with age. My heart is in the process of being renewed.

                  What I really want out of this life is to be picked by someone to be on their team, or be their friend not, because I’m a good player, or that I fit a niche, but simply because they want to be with me.

How about you?

  • Which rejection hurts you more—the kind from not being included, or the kind from being selected for performance-based reasons?
     
  • What do you suggest are ways to build relationships outside of these judgments and expectations? 
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10 responses to “Featured Guest Blogger: CHAD ESTES!

  1. lisacolondelay

    Chad-Could you give some examples of “spiritual steroids”?

    Any one else have ideas about that?

    Thanks for the insights.

  2. What a poignant reflection! I think that for most of us, cycling between these two forms of rejection goes on all our lives. Those with “mad skills” in some areas are excluded from the ones where those skills aren’t valued. For instance, the smart kids get excluded from sports, or the musical people get excluded from the parties, or whatever.

    Yet selection on the basis of those skills can easily set up a situation where people love what we can do, but never really get to know us deeply. We all know the feeling: “If you really knew me, all of me, you wouldn’t love me–despite my “mad skills.”

    How do we build relationships w/o expectations? The quick-and-easy answer is that we need to see others as Jesus saw them. Others aren’t problems to be solved or skills to be employed or pests to be avoided; they’re just people, just as we are, needing to be valued and accepted just as we do.

    But…we don’t.

    I’ll be waiting eagerly for others to post alternatives to the “find them, use them, abuse them, drop them” methods we’ve honed to perfection, both outside the Church and in it.

    • Mellingerla, I like your quick-and-easy answer, yet it isn’t so quick-and-easy walking it out, is it? But I think you are so right, when we look at the way Jesus interacted with others, he certainly didn’t surround him with people that we would think would make his ministry successful. Instead it seems like he just surrounded himself with people that he loved.

  3. Pingback: Featured Guest Blogger: CHAD ESTES! « Life As Prayer and laughter … | chad News Station

  4. Lisa, when I wrote that line “spiritual steroids” I was thinking of anything that we use to try to boost our spirituality but that doesn’t really help with growth. I think for each person it can be different and is measured by motivation. For instance when even Bible reading, memorization, fasting, long devotional times and other spiritual disciplines are motivated by guilt and fear, they really add no value to our spiritual health. They can come across as a super looking to others, but can really be nothing more than puffed up pride.

    True growth comes out of relationship and community. And when there is a motivation of love, those same spiritual disciples discussed above (that produced impressive looking muscles and itty bitty reproductive organs) will have the opposite affect. There will be natural strength, sustainability, and nurturing of others.

    When we love, we don’t need to fight for position, but will actually look to benefit others. There isn’t the need to be defensive.

    How do you interpret it?

    • lisacolondelay

      I like your take very much, Chad. The steroid analogy is apropos, indeed.

      I was also understanding it to mean the sorts of things like programs, trends, fads, formulas, and such, that come down the pike with big promises or dynamite expected outcomes. Sometimes an advertised “powerful study” or “life-changing conference” can take on those same characteristics, to me, as “spiritual steroids.” Maybe we treat these routes as power pellets or shortcuts (like an athlete could utilize steroids,) or hope somehow that these measures will fast-track our spirituality or vibrancy. I know, I’ve given in to these promises, and hopes when new offers or ideas come along. Anybody else?

      The core growth element of *community and relationship* is the long route, the harder path, but (to me) the way Jesus modeled; and the surest way to better maturity/progress in spiritual formation (Christlikeness). Love can be easy to theorize about, that is: love in theory–nice and neat, and distanced from us. But, acted out in difficult situations or with difficult people, well, that’s much harder. I doubt it’s fixed with “spiritual steroids.” And “Small reproductive organs” ….Chad you crack me up!

      You give us tremendous food for thought, and action, Chad.

  5. I really like your take on this Lisa. I was even thinking something much simpler. As a church-planter in south Texas, I see people every week that use the Sunday “worship service” as a spiritual steroid. The problem is that it’s such an accepted practice no one thinks anything about it. They receive their Sunday injection and expect that to suffice for their “relationship” with Jesus.

    We have chosen to only offer a corporate gathering 2 times per month in hopes that our people will see Christianity as a daily expression of a relationship with Jesus – loving him and loving others where they are and where they go. It’s amazing the “withdrawals” that have occurred for some of our Christ-followers without that weekly injection…amazing in a sad way.

    Thanks for this post, Chad. Lisa, I look forward to getting to know your heart here as well…

    • lisacolondelay

      foregarts- What a fantastic observation! A common problem-indeed!
      I’ve certainly been guilty of slipping into this situation during spiritually lazy, disenchanted, or dry times. It sort of reminds me of trying to live off 10 protein bars once per week. It would be terrible for my health, but how different is this type of idea than from attending church as an observer, saying “fill me up”… rather than remembering the whole thing is about worship, service, community, and the gospel -lived out.

      Wow- I’m glad you stopped by, with this; and I hope and pray you’ll reply to more posts with your insights. This was a huge blessing to me.

  6. “Which rejection hurts you more—the kind from not being included, or the kind from being selected for performance-based reasons?”

    Good question.

    I think it depends on the situation and environment. If we are talking about the corporate world, then I think it would hurt more not being included. Mainly because my relationships at ‘work’ tend to be shallower and more performance based rather then ministry or servant based relationships of ministry. (This may not be ideal, but it is how my life is at the moment….)

    In ministry (i.e. teaching, leading outreaches, Bible studies, church, etc), the rejection of being selected for performance-base reasons is the most painful. Mostly because I have the perception that ministry partnerships should be driven by relationships and not by the bottom line. It hurts when you find out that the “ministry” your involved in is being run like a business with a focus on attendance, money, and programs – instead of helping people move one step closer to Jesus.

    Maybe my perception of ministry is wrong…or maybe it is my life at work in the corporate world…or maybe, just maybe, we live is a screwed up world where we have to learn to let Jesus carry our rejection and just keep on keeping on. =/

    • lisacolondelay

      Josh,
      Keen observation too. We do lived in a messed up world, and failures are the norm. Jesus, the Truth, the person, the gospel, carries us. God has reached down for us to comfort and heal. I too feel a catch in my spirit when materialistic goals override gospel precepts when we minister. I’m glad you could add something to Chad great contribution. Thank you.