Monday, September 7, 2009

Maintaining my Amateur Status

While filling out a document recently, I had to reveal my profession. I wrote "Minister" in the blank. For some reason, my mind ran with that until I arrived at a very familiar question. To what degree am I a follower of Jesus because I love Jesus, and to what degree because I am a religious professional?

It's interesting how many people I have heard over the years, when contrasting themselves to me, have used the term "amateur Christian" to refer to themselves. It has not been a great number, but I have heard it about a dozen or more times - just enough so that it has stuck with me. I like that as a title.

The word amateur comes from a Latin word that means "lover." So an Amateur Christian is one one who is a follower of Jesus precisely because they love Jesus.

So if you are feeling like you may not know as much as a professional Christian, or a more seasoned believer who seems to know better why they believe and follow, be encouraged. As an amateur Christian - one following out of love - you are on really, really solid ground.

My challenge is to continue to be a professional clergy person, but to always maintain my amateur status as a follower of Jesus.

May you never see your amateur status as something less than it should be. May you take joy in being one who follows Jesus out of authentic love.  And may you, in that following, come to know more fully the love Jesus has for you.

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