We have a 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon service in the Southwest, so I just told Eddie, hey, you know, I can skip the gym on Sunday morning and worship with you. So I appreciate the invitation and I’m excited to share some thoughts with you, excited to just be encouraged to mutually, hopefully by each other’s presence. How’s my clicker doing here? All right. We are in the year twenty, twenty one. Our theme is one. Very creative.
And it didn’t really dawn on me that we started in Ephesians Chapter four talking about one body, one spirit, one lord, baptism, all those things, until Tyler did the lesson last week and did such a great job of giving us the back story. And I thought, wow, you know, we jumped right to Ephesians four. If you look at the book of Ephesians, one through three is all inspiration and then four through six is all instruction and fixing things.
And I thought, you’re your lead evangelist is a moron because twenty twenty was a dumpster fire. And all I wanted to do was just fix it. Let’s just fix the church. We don’t need all that inspiration. Let’s just get Ephesians 4. So I’m sorry this year’s been so, so terrible. But you know, it was my call and I guess I blew it. I should have inspired us all, but. We’re just going to start the year over.
OK, all right. We’re gonna start in Ephesians 1. We’re going to do a whole series over. No, we’re not going to do that. We already made our bed. We’re going to sleep in it. Tyler fixed it, so we’re just going to move on amen? I want to talk about this idea of being equipped now, because we really do want the church to feel equipped. We want you to feel like I have the tools to fix this. If you ever had the wrong tool for the job that was like doing projects with my dad when he would come and visit me, sort of like that’s what I would like.
All right. We need to fix everything we can while my dad is here. He’s since passed. But I mean, I got a lot of useful work on the houses that I had whenever we would live somewhere like Dad, let’s fix this. But it was always a struggle working with my dad because he’d be like, where’s your sledgehammer? You know, I just I’ve never needed a sledgehammer yet in my life, but I guess I will go get one now.
So it was always an inventory of tools that I did not have. We don’t want you as a church to feel that way. We don’t want you to feel like a heavy burden has been placed on you. But I have no tools. I have no equipment. I don’t know what to do. Really, that is the role of the ministry staff is that you might feel equipped. And that’s really where Tyler left off. We’re starting today verse 11 of Ephesians four says Christ himself gave apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, teachers to equip you, the church, his people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. And I want to talk a little bit about that today, but I think we have been using the Body of Christ analogy, rightfully so, because it is biblical for so long that sometimes that familiarity makes us numb to this analogy, the idea of the body of Christ and how we’re all parts of the body that we all function together.
So I want us to think of it a little bit differently today for today’s sermon, I want you to think of the church as an orchestra with a choir all behind us. Now, I love being a part of the worship team. I love that they put up with me and let me play guitar. But I love music and it is amazing to see an orchestra play together in unison. And I’m going to play a song for you that’s only about a minute and 30 seconds.
And it’s known to I guarantee all of you, you all know this song. It’s about also Sprach Zarathustra, which is, of course, by the German composer Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 as a show of hands. Who knows this tune? By Faith. Everybody raise your hands. You know this song. This, I think, is recorded by the Boston Philharmonic. Tympani. And that organ right there at the end.
And, of course, you know, this is from this was from Stanley Kubrick’s film. He put it in there, Space Odyssey 2001 written that that movie came out in 1968. But he used that song. And just I know this is probably not news to some of you, but the composer’s intent was for this to be orchestrated by a picolo three flutes, third doubling Picolo, three oboes, English horn, clarinet in E flat, two clarinets in B flat bass clarinet B flat, three bassoons a contra basson, six horns in F and E trumpets at C and E.
The four of those three trombones, two tubas, a timpani. You guys heard that timpani. Right. The bass drum, the cymbals, the triangle. You got to get the triangle in, the glockenspiel a bell on low E an organ that you heard at the end. The strings consisted of two harps a violin, one and two parts, 16 of each of those 12 violas, 12 cellos, eight double basses with the low B string. That’s what you just heard.
I know probably most of you discerned all of those right? Now, what if one trumpet player out of those hundred instruments was playing the Star Wars theme by John Williams? Would it still be like ninety nine percent pleasant to listen to because really everybody else was doing the right thing. Would you be able to drown out, you know. No you wouldn’t. You’d be like, what is that person doing, he’s ruining the other 99 instruments, playing this beautiful tone poem in the key of C, which I know you knew that as well.
We’re going to listen to this one more time, not just with one trumpet out of tune, but God bless whoever this director was who was leading their middle school orchestra. But they made a go at this song. I don’t think they had all of those same instruments, but but they made a good run at it.
So we’re going to listen to. OK, so far. They got one more shot at it. You know there’s three asian kids trying to hold this thing together. You know, she’s still going for it. She’s like, sweat running down her back, parents video cameras out. I know you want me to go go to the next slide, but. Guys want me to play that again?
Now, OK, before we throw these kids under the bus, when we think about the church, obviously, the first version of that is what we’re striving for, right? Right. How does our church look and sound sometimes? You know, we are we maybe have a few folks that are kind of doing their own thing or maybe just not equipped. You know, maybe they haven’t had enough time. But but think of the lessons here. You know, I remember we were at the World Discipleship Summit in San Antonio.
I got to play guitar on that summit. It was a blast mainly because just because I know Brian Craig. It’s not my guitar playing ability, but I have a friend on stage and he’s like, you play with me. So, Brian, I got to play. And we were playing a song, I think it was Comes Thou Fount where I played mandolin. And we had this disciple from Norway, I think. And she was the number one violin player in the nation.
It was it was your sister in Christ still is, and so she played violin with us. And at the time, Katie was in a band just like this in an orchestra. And we were going to those concerts, you know what I mean? Where I mean, it’s, you know, it’s exciting and you’re rooting for them and you’re taking them out for dinner afterwards. You present them with flowers and but the concert was not the main event.
It was just then growing. And I remember Katie, fifth and sixth grade. It was rough and in middle school there was a huge jump and and they did a great job. And then by the time high school then she finished at Freedom High School and the Music Department at Freedom High School is ridiculous. It’s amazing. I mean, their concerts were truly a joy to be there. And so you saw the growth. You saw the progression and and his violin player I told her that, yeah, my daughter’s playing. She’s in like fifth or sixth grade. And so it’s a little rough at home. When she practices, she goes, you know, this is the best age to start because at this age, they really have no idea how bad they sound. And you think about that band, you know what I mean is they were at Chick fil A afterwards, you know what I mean? They were like we nailed it.
You know, we did Stanley Kubrick or Richard Strauss proud. And, you know, you think about the conductor. Have you ever been to an orchestra and wondered, you know, what is that guy? Is he or she even really necessary? You know, I will tell you for sure, the more novice the orchestra, the more critical the conductor is. Right nows Justin’s at Potter Street Middle School, and he plays percussion. And Miss Berry, again, is an amazing conductor and runs the music department there.
I’ve watched her because we got invited to one of their practices and rehearsals and during homeroom or whatever it was back to school night. And, you know, if anything was off, you just of grab a clarinet and play the kid’s part and hand it back to them and then, OK, the trumpet, here’s what I need you to do. And then, OK, so the violin, what you’re going to need to do and you kind of realize, oh, she can play every instrument.
She’s not just doing this, you know what I mean? Pointing people. The conductor is very critical. And I would say that at the Boston Philharmonic level, probably less so. But you also don’t see what’s going on in the background and all the work. You just kind of seeing the final performance when everything is in perfect tune. And that’s really the picture that I think Paul is trying to paint here with the church, is that you may just think that on Sunday, oh, I wish I got to be that guy up there telling jokes or whatever, you know, being in the ministry.
That’s what I thought growing up. Oh, I can’t wait. We’ll talk a little bit about how fun that is later in today’s sermon. I would just say that leadership is very necessary. And why? Well, because that’s the composer’s intent. The composer is Christ. Christ, God, the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures. And it’s supposed to work in this way where Paul talks about the apostles, the prophets, the teachers, the pastors.
In other passages, he talks about those with gifts of administration and and deacons and other roles in the body of Christ. And that’s really God’s choice. It’s the composer’s intent. And I know some would argue for a more organic approach. And let’s just let the Holy Spirit guide us. We don’t need really those types of leaders. Well, two things, number one, again, this is biblical. It’s not like we as a church came up with these rules.
These are godly rules set apart and chosen by Christ. So I’m not going to outthink Christ. Christ gave us leadership. Secondly, I think we have to be careful to allow the Holy Spirit to rubber stamp our organic, chaotic approach to things because the Holy Spirit is the very agent of God that brings order out of chaos. If you look at the creation of the world, the world, the earth was formless and void. It sort of sounded like.
That was what the void of Earth sounded like as it groaned and cried out to the heavens, and so the spirit of God hovered over the earth and began to create order. So when we say organic, it’s really the Holy Spirit creating a system that works in perfect tune with God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and this breath, the Holy Spirit that spoke the world and brought order out of chaos. So it’s not just let’s be organic.
Let’s pass our instruments and let the spirit teach us this song. That’s not really the sound that comes from that is not pleasing to God. Now, we also have our starting point too. It’s not our job as the leadership of the church to do all the work. It’s not Miss Berry’s job during a concert to be like I’m embarrassed parents by what this sounds like. So I’m going to just play it all for you since I know what I’m doing. No, we have to have a starting point. Sometimes your family group, as it’s going, it’s you know, that’s maybe where the ministry starts. But guess what? Over time, we need to be progressing to a place of tuning and listening to each other and blending together and playing together and crafting your skill on your instrument according to the gifts that God has given you to where then after time, we start seeing the picture, we start listening to the tune, and the Holy Spirit now is is working in a way that’s pleasing and that sound is pleasing and that the communion with the church is in unison.
That’s really what we are striving for Does that makes sense? And so I just wanted to share that because I think God is not a god of chaos, but he is a god of form and function and purpose. And the spirit is his agent of bringing about form and purpose out of chaos. And I think it is true that the bottom line is some of us, and I’m including myself in this, we just have a problem with authority of any kind.
And I would challenge you, my nature is rebellious. That’s my sinful nature. I am rebellious. Add to that I feel also entitled, like I feel like rules are for general society to stay non chaotic. But I’m a little bit of an exception. So if I make a left on a red arrow, like it’s like I get it safely, but I know if I buy in in general, but I’m entitled and I’m an exception and gosh, I wish I could talk to the guy who synced these lights in.
For now. That part is true. I wish I could talk to the guy who syncs the lights in Orlando, but I’m rebellious. I’m entitled. You add sarcasm to it and you can see why Sean marries me. Like you can see what a blessing that is for her to deal with me, for me and those who are like me, who are rebellious in nature and who love that way because you think it makes you an independent, free thinker, I would ask you to study out authority in the scriptures and study out rebellion to authority.
You will find that in every case, men and women who please God work under authority. Is it godly authority? Rarely. It’s it’s actually rarely godly authority. Daniel worked under Nebuchadnezzar and served God in incredible ways, was Nebuchadezzar a great lead evangelist of the church? No, he thought he was a God. And God drove him insane. Joseph worked under Pharoah and did amazing things for God and saved many people under a broken system. Elijah served under Ahab and Jezebel. Like nobody names their kids those names, you know, a name like Jezebel’s, my daughter Jezebel. Awesome. Son Lucifer. You know, it’s like there’s just certain names that the Bible has ruined because they are rebellious to the core. Now, you may think, my child, is, I should have named her Jezebel whatever it is. That’s not the point. Jesus himself was a man under authority. And the Bible says the government was on his shoulders. And guess what he never fixed? The government. He submitted himself to the Sanhedrin’s decision and the decision of pilot, though he could have overruled both of those decisions with an angelic nuclear bomb. Yet submitted to those decisions to the point of death. I think of Saul not waiting on Samuel. Why? Because he just probably was like I was just letting the spirit lead and Samuel, you know, I’ll do the sacrifice. But that’s not the order that God had in place under the law of Moses this was a priestly duty and it was not Saul’s duty to perform. He was the king. But he he he sort of was out of order. And you think well its just a no, it’s an issue of authority and it grieved God. Leadership in the church then is not so much a job as it is a calling. And how do you know it is your calling? And this applies to every everybody in here. Not just those who serve in the full time ministry, but those who work and perform you know, we call it secular work to it, but it is really a calling. And how do you know that it’s a calling? It’s because you care deeply about it. You can’t not do it. You can’t even run away from it. Joan, I tried. I tried. This is my third time in ministry because they just keep running away. When you care deeply about it. It also makes you very, very vulnerable to pain and hurt.
And that’s what Paul talks about in leadership. He says, besides everything else I face daily, the pressure of my concern for all of the churches. It’s like, wow, every church. Who is weak and I don’t feel weak, who is led into sin and I don’t inwardly burn. Well, let me share what these words in the Greek. Pressure [Greek] is like a riotous mob, a troublesome throng of persons seeking help or counsel. So Paul was saying emotionally he felt like he was overrun by a violent mob, a mob of what? Concern, and that that’s a nice way of saying what the Greek says is worry or anxiety.
It says it’s dividing and fracturing a person’s being into parts. Because it sounds like Paul had anxiety. You know, I developed anxiety about two and a half years ago. I didn’t know what it was, but I almost panicked had a panic attack right before a worship service. I just told Bill I, I feel like all the cells in my body are don’t want to work right. I can’t explain what it is. I got sick.
I don’t have a fever. I, I just don’t know what’s happening to me. Let me show you what my sermon is today. And we’re there at Hunts Creek Middle School. I kind of scrolled through it in five minutes at nine fifty five. I said, be ready in case I can’t preach. I went up to play bass and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I couldn’t even play. I didn’t know the notes. These were not difficult songs.
I put the bass down. I pointed at Bill. I drove home and passed out for three hours. That was Mother’s Day too, you know, my kids and everybody went to Disney, downtown Disney and ate. And and I didn’t realize it was the conference, the stress, the, you know, new church gave new life. And you’re probably saying, Marshall, you’re doing it wrong if you feel all that way. I would submit to you, yes, I’m definitely doing it wrong.
However, I can’t not care. So I think that’s the that’s the challenge.
And I can’t just not care. It can’t just be a job. I feel called to this. And so there’s times like a riot or the mob of concern begins to overtake me. And I don’t know what to do. And if I’m doing it wrong, then Paul was doing it wrong because he wrote this like, I’m not reading this is not my journal entry. This is Paul’s journal entry to the church in Corinth saying, I feel as weak as the weakest member in every church and I feel the sin of whoever is sin in every church.
And I feel that every day. Woo I mean, anyway, sometimes we wonder, like what more people step into leadership. And you’re saying that’s why. Because it’s no different if you lead a family group. Really as a family group leader, you feel as weak as the weakest person in a group of ten that you lead. I don’t care if it’s a church or a small group. You feel if you care which you do, you feel it.
But but I think all of us who are living out our callinge are going to feel this to some degree. Right. If you care, you’re going to feel a mob, a pressure an anxiety. And we are as a church, going to be rolling out in the next couple of weeks our mental health coaching ministry, which I’m very, very excited for. And I hope that we take advantage of it. We need to be people that are interested and investing in our self care.
I don’t know that I can do anything about this because I care about the church and you care about the church. So we feel this way, but we’ve got to heal from it and figure out how to live in this state. I think of Moses, who, you know, one minute he’s begging God to save the Hebrews. You know, he’s sitting there as judge and and he’s solving every case. Bring me bring him to me and bring them to me, bringing me and then there’s a time for Moses is like God, these are your people.
These are the sheep. They bear your name. I have nothing to do with them. I can be that way. I can go from super caring and stress and anxiety to, you know, kill me now, God. You know what I mean? Let’s just. When are you coming back jesus? Enough people, you know, I mean, just project the future and who’s going to become a Christian and just let it go. But I think all of you guys on the front lines, I think of those of you in school and teaching and administration and I think of Melik as he embarks on a new job as Principal Maitland Middle School, how do you think Melik will feel when the riotous mob shows up on Tuesday or Wednesday of middle school students?
Because I think Melik is living out his calling he’s going to care and I believe that he will have to manage stress. He’s not going to just be like, hey, you know, you kids are bullied. You know, it’s OK. Whatever. No, I mean, if you’re teaching just a classroom of kids, 20 people, you know, they’re connected to a family and a parent and siblings. And so whatever it is, you know, I think of the first responders like Josh and Geno and others who are first responders.
It’s not just the job, you know, oh, man, I’m going to do my best to save this person. But if not, you know, I’m going to keep a professional boundary and I’m going to go home and play with my kids. That’s very difficult. That’s the riot. You’ve been in a riot and you go home and try to handle the pressure. I’m sure there is a lot of anxiety that comes from that. But you’ve got to figure out how to deal from.
And I think of every one of you that’s living out your calling, you feel it. You care. And, you know, that’s that’s what I think we we as a church need to understand is is from your ministry staff. We care. We care deeply. We don’t want to play every instrument. Like I didn’t create this mess. Now, women as a show of hands, is that my responsibility to go out and play the mom out of the car while my wife cleans the vomit out of the child’s hair as a show of hands I want to see from my sisters if that’s my responsibility. You are correct. That’s the day when I realize I have to be a man. I can’t be a wuss anymore. I can’t just be an entitled selfish ball of no, that’s your job. Like I. So you might think that’s an odd time to become a man. For me. It was very poignant that the rest of my life is really going to be spent cleaning vomit.
That’s OK. And that’s, that’s what makes us mature and grow. Jesus said this. And I think it is because our goal is completion. Our goal is to finish and be in perfect tune with Christ. And what’s amazing is that for those who’ve been baptized into Christ, you are in perfect tune even if you play and exert your gifts out of tune, somehow the spirit between earth and heaven retunes your instrument. The spirit is like, here’s what he meant to play.
Here’s what she was going for. And somehow the church, because of what Christ did when he said it is completed and bowed his head and gave up his spirit for us. He brought the earth into perfect tune. And Philippians said that now I’m sure of this that he who began a good work and you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. We get to be in perfect tune with God even now because of the sacrifice and the blood of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.