Reading Rob Bell + Velvet Elvis +
He’s just gotten confessional about his experience as SUPERPASTOR, described how he ended up there and began his process of
“The restless pursuit of who God made me to be.” (p114)
Then he had the nerve to suggest that each of us readers/dialogue partners may also be troubled by our own superwhatever and that we should discern it, then take it out back and shoot it! (Ugh. like a shot to the gut!) So he then said, Go ahead, do it now. The book will still be here when you get back.
And I finally gave in and decided I would take some time to wrestle with this now. Actually, I’ve been on this part of the journey for some months now – probably at least consciously since July and the General Assembly when I began hearing a call to coach, and began getting drawn by the Holy Spirit into community with New Church Planters (the perspective from which RB writes). And I began experiencing a change in my personality, or in my giftedness, or both. I realized – because it spoke it at the Flying Pig – that I don’t need affirmation from others. Please hear me correctly – not that I don’t want it, or sometimes think I need it, but that God is the one whos affirmation I truly need. If I persue who God made me to be, then I will experience the Voice of Affirmation speak, “You are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.”
AND YET, I am still struggling – or perhaps am struggling even more with my own brokenness and sin because I understand more clearly who God made me to be – and that knowledge magnifies how far I have to go.
I have a Messiah Complex. Rob confessed his need to succeed, and to please so many people, and to be an overachiever. My need is to be needed, which I live out by rescuing others, or alternately, when I’m trying to resist that temptation, letting others drown. There’s no middle for me – or at least I have great trouble finding it. And neither of my extreme positions are places of true relationship. They are distancing positions. (Family Systems Theory has so much to say on this… for another time.) One of the ways this Messiah Complex plays out is by Taking Responsibility for things that aren’t mine. Which is toxic in community because it devalues what the other has to offer. And it’s fatal in church where people are being given a ministry by the Holy Spirit and along comes the pastor to squelch and steal it! Holy Cow!!!
At the Well, instead of offering to help the woman draw water, Jesus asks her to give her a cup. I’d have done the opposite – “Here, let me get that for you…” (John 4)
I’ve already begun the process of killing my own superwhatever – SUPERSAVIOR perhaps – by confessing it and repenting the few times I’ve recentlyl recognized it. I invite my community to help me in this work, and if I get defensive, know that this response is not me at my best – simply and humbly help me to see it – I pray.