Thursday, March 19, 2009

2 things

I want to talk about two things today: untapped potential and American Idol.

Let's start with the latter...American Idol. I love this season of Idol. I'm not surprised that Alexis got kicked off last night. Her "saving" performance was terrible. The judges, you could tell, we definitely ready to save her, but she was so bad that they couldn't help but kick her off. It was almost a painful plea that she was making to the judges: I wouldn't be surprised if her voice is blown after that performance.
The second thing I want to talk about is something I heard at, of all places, a show choir competition. After every day time performance, each show choir goes to a room to listen to a critique judge. The critique judge isn't someone who scores the choir, but listens to the scoring judges and relays that info to the choir so they can "polish up" their show for the evening (if necessary. Sometimes, like Indianola, it isn't necessary). A critique judge at the Sioux City East competition told the choir a quote that he had heard from a teacher: "Untapped potential is OFFENSIVE!"
Most of the high school kids in the room didn't get it. Some did...maybe a few. They were too worried about their costumes looking bad or their hair falling from the 10 inches of curls that sat on top of their heads. Untapped potential is offensive.
I thought about these words, and then thought, "I won't remember that quote. I usually don't. I have a bad memory." You can see that my train of thought had already left the station. BUT, today I thought of untapped potential and how offensive it is.
I work at a church. Churches are the people not the building. I'm saying this to remind myself that church is the people...not the building! Worship is the act of doing, not the act of being served. Again, I say this to remind myself. This church I work at doesn't remember either of these things. It frustrates me. I find the untapped potential at this church offensive.
Here we are in the middle of Waukee, Valley, Johnston, Urbandale and Des Moines. Here we are up on a hill with very familiar crooked crosses. Here we are by a HUGE car dealership right off the highway, right across the road from (probably) the busiest darn truckstop in a 50 mile radius. Here we are..untapped and offensive.
One might be asking: "But how to tap the potential? How do you do it?" Again, I refer to the church being people and not a building. Worship being work and not lazy. Community should be built by being part of a church....a large group of people. Community leads to caring and caring leads to commitment. We don't have that here. That offends me.
Worshiping becomes an act of doing not an act of being served. If someone is worshiping, they are active. They are part of the church group. They are part of the community. They are caring. They make commitments to be here.
When did church get replaced by soccer games and show choir and taking the dog to the fenced in dog park and basketball practice and saxophone lessons? When did church get to the place it is...being a building that we come to to sit in our seats and have worship "done" to us. We are here in this church to be filled up. We are here at this gas station to be serviced.
Untapped potential is offensive and I am quite offended.


  1. I would agree with that - untapped potential IS quite offensive! Go figure...we agree on that. :)

  2. I would like my 20-year-old to read this. My 17-year-old seems to get the potential thing. I like your blog, James!

  3. (Switching my display name)
    I would like my 20-year-old to read this. My 17-year-old seems to get the potential thing. I like your blog, James!