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February 2, 2021 34 min

Is your life going smoothly this week? Had a smooth beginning to the year? Would "smooth" describe the nature of your life? I'm just guessing here, but I suspect I haven't gotten a "yes" from you yet. Smooth is an expected ideal much more than a reality experienced with any frequency. 

Many years ago, when I was a young minister, I ran into a middle-aged pastor at a meeting of pastors. He stood out in the crowd. To me, he seemed cool. His dress was elegantly casual. His hair combed handsomely without perfection or gel. His smile was quick, and good humor seemed to follow his conversations. Ready with my newfound theological precision, I approached him along with a few like-minded friends to check him out further. It really was not too unlike dogs in a dog park, sniffing out another breed. He greeted us, that twinkle in his eye of one who knew what was coming, and he was up to the task.

It didn't take long for the kidding to begin as he played with our minds, allowing me to call attention to the small smooth stone he wore on a chain around his neck, knowing I was giving him the very opening such an adornment obviously desired. I don't remember the story, but I do remember the conversation which followed. It was about how sin played into preaching. Did he tell people they were sinners in need of a savior, or did he soft-pedal that part of the Gospel message?

"Let me tell you about the people who come to my church," he said. "All week long, they are told they are not good enough, they don't sell enough, they don't work fast enough, they aren't charming enough or energetic enough, caring enough, and they don't produce enough for the bottom line." "Now," he continued, "how am I supposed to tell them they aren't good enough, righteous enough, holy enough, spiritual enough, or godly enough and expect them to believe we offer anything different from the world?" He made his point.

Today we have someone who knows a few things about rough roads, ruts, and pit holes. He paves them for living along with his over 270 employees. Meet Daren Young for our show "Filling in the Ruts." Welcome, Daren, to Church Hurts And.

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