About a year ago, I was at a ministry conference and someone I had been talking to the day before came up to me and said, “I have a message for you, Steve!” “Uh, OK…” I replied. “The message is that you’re ministry is on hold until you can stop caring what people think.”
Now, that isn’t a license to do whatever you want and to run rough-shod over people. What I believe he meant was that a pastor is called on to do what’s right and what God calls him/her to do, and that sometimes isn’t popular.
What the people wants isn’t always what God wants. The Bible is full of stories about how God spoke to one person or a small group and then did things that nobody thought were possible.
What brought this up for me tonight is that Tom Smith – our Wednesday ministry speaker – was talking about Moses receiving the Law up on Mount Sinai and what was happening below. While Moses was up getting the rules God wanted the people to live by during their time in the wilderness, the people – including their high priest – were making and worshiping a golden calf.
Moses was furious! Why did Moses’ brother Aaron make a golden calf for the people to worship?
“Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” Exodus 32:22-24
The people asked him to so he did. Is that a good reason? Is that the right way to do ministry? No way.