Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I was listening to the radio this morning on my way to work and I the host of the morning show I was listening to was doing a bit about some survey that asked which of the following four things would you rather be:

The whole thing kind of intrigued me and messed with me a bit all day.  Most of the people tried to say that smarter was the thing they’d want because they could use it to get richer and thinner.  Some said they wanted to get rich so they could buy a trainer and a tutor to help them get smarter and thinner.  No one seemed to want to be younger unless you could be smarter, thinner, and richer too, so they mostly ignored this option as too much genie-in-a-bottleish.
But no one really wanted any of them for their own intrinsic value.  They wanted one so it would gain them as much as the others as possible.  Like these 4 things are not separable, they are 4 wheels of the same car and required to roll in our postmodern culture. 
HMMM:  This would be a great intro or conversation starter in youth ministry.
NOPE AND YEP:  I don’t want to be younger (but I do turn 40 in a few months) and I’m honestly working on the other three.  Thinner cuz being overweight sucks the life and energy from my body.  Richer, cuz my family is not cheap and my future expenses are going up, not down from what I can see.  Smarter… well cuz I’m dumb and need all the help I can get.  A magic name memory additive to my brain would be priceless.  I’m trying desperately to be a learner.  

WANTING VS WILLING:  I think most people want stuff they are unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to actually get.  Like people will wish themselves thinner or richer or smarter, but then do nothing to change eating, exercise, spending, or study habits. Mostly we just wish things were different and then that’s as far as it goes.  Wishing and willing are not the same thing.  If you wish your marriage was better, the question is then, “what am I willing to do to see that happen?”
IF WE WERE TO ASK: this in a ministry setting or in a circle of full-time pastors, we could easily craft a similar 4 set of desires.  I think pastors would try and lobby for the one that they thought would give them the other 3, cuz all are like 4 tires on a car and part of many healthy ministries.   But anyway, I think it would be this question: Would your rather your church had…


  1. I definitely see what you’re saying and it’s some major food for thought, but when it comes down to it, the Church is people. No more, no less. All the rest isn’t necessary to actually be part of the Church. But then again, I’m not a pastor (and never want to be), so my perspective’s a little different.

  2. Great post bro! I am not sure what I would choose for my church here. I think what you present, on the choices for pastors, are generally correct. I guess I wish the things we looked for were more like this:
    * Better Disciples
    * Better Example of Christ
    * Spiritually Mature Believers
    * Deeper Commitment to the Gospel

    Just some thoughts off the top of my not so smart head!

  3. not to get too deep with either of you, but I think the church is made of people. And yes, I’d like to have all of them love Jesus and live for him more fully- myself included.

    But in the day to day stuff of ministry… sometimes we don’t have enough people to feed the people, sometimes we don’t have enough room to hold all the people God has brought, sometimes we wish we could hire more people to help make more disciples, and sometimes we simply wish we had more money to use. I’m not sure any of them, including money, is unable to be used by God.

    Granted, none of them are a magic fix, but there have been times in ministry I’ve prayed to God for more of each of those things. Right now…. I guess I’d want more volunteers committed to the cause and more students owning their faith and our youth ministry. So I’ll call it more peeps.

    thanks for interacting in the comments.

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