Busyness as Usual?

By: James Flynn
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

When you look around at the state of the world do you ever get this scary feeling that the sky is falling?  In my lifetime, I cannot remember a time when so many things seem to be going wrong at the same time.  As I write this blog, there is an environmental disaster of biblical proportions occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst economy since the Great Depression, our country is involved in two wars, and there seems to be a vacuum of leadership in our nation’s capital. The news seems to be dim right now, but it is important to remember that God has always used the toughest times in any nation’s history to prove that He is God, and that all comfort, security, and wisdom ultimately rests in Him.   Further, it is the church that has the power of God at its disposal to effect real “change you can believe in,” through the transformative power of His word.  God has always been in the business of changing nations, but it has always started in people’s hearts one-by-one.

At times like this, it is essential that preachers focus on the primary source of that transformative power—relationship with God. The power to change life resides in God alone. Ministers have a tendency to replace being with God with doing for God. When the balance between being and doing suffers, the flow of transformational power also suffers. Doing without being allows for depersonalization to slip into a preacher’s consciousness, and intimacy begins to grow stale. We begin to see God as the “boss” we work for and not the friend or lover the Scriptures describe Him to be. As intimacy decreases, preachers start to go through the familiar motions and do out of a sense of duty rather than love.  sad to say for many preachers, its business as usual – or it that “busyness as usual?”

Jesus wished Martha would just come and sit with Mary and Him in conversation and fellowship rather than doing additional busywork (Luke 10:41,42). He told the sisters that there are only a few things necessary and that intimacy was at the top of His list. Preachers often abandon the simplicity of the gospel—the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ—in favor of doing things in His name (2 Cor. 11:2,3). It’s easy to lose perspective when buildings and board meetings demand our attention. People fuss, get married, need counseling, and die at unpredictable times. To be sure, there is no faith without works (James 2:18-24), but we can’t forget that God yearns for our friendship. After all, love is who He is at the very core of His being.

At times like this, one of the biggest risks preachers face is getting too busy with things that are less important.  People are looking for answers.  God is ultimately the source of those answers, but will He find too many Martha’s preoccupied with their ministry business to sit at His feet and listen?  It’s time to be Mary.  The world is counting on us for substance.  As ministers, let’s give God what He is yearning for, so we can give the world what they need so badly.

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James Flynn
This entry was posted by on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 at 5:00 am and is filed under Faith & Culture, Renewal Studies, Theology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Busyness as Usual?”

  1. Judy Baker says:


    • James Flynn James Flynn says:

      Hi Judy.

      I wanted to be sure I was not to “busy” to respond. It is great to know that people are reading the Blog. We get a sense that allot of people read in the background and don’t respond, but always nice to hear from people. Hope the holiday was refreshing and invigorating!

      Many lessings,


  2. Donna McArdle says:

    Dear Jim,

    Put so well, it is hard to hear God when ministry is no longer serving God, but serving programs. The last pharagraph is put so well.
    I can still hear the words of the Martha story from when you peached in the pulipt. Thanks for faith walk in Christ. You will never know the impact that God has used you in our lives.

    Donna (Vince)