The following is excerpted and edited from a sermon entitled “Don’t Worry, Yeah Right” from the sermon series, “Living Right In a World Gone Wrong.” The sermon was delivered by Pastor Mark Holmen, President of the Minnesota-based Faith at Home ministry (www.FaithAtHome.com). Pastor Holmen delivered this sermon on March 6, 2016 at Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To see or hear Pastor Holmen’s full sermon, click here and for more information visit http://www.faithathome.com/staff.html.
When I became a senior pastor of a large church in California, I worried. I worried about everything. I worried about what I’m preaching, how I’m preaching, what I’m wearing, and more.
Our “traditional” service began at 8:00 a.m. where I donned the suit and tie. Our 9:30 a.m. service was a “blended” service with just a button down shirt and pants. Our 11:00 a.m. service featured the Mark Holmen with the shirt tail out and the embodiment of “casual Sunday.” We didn't have a fourth service because the church worried about what was coming off next.
I worried about elder meetings, sermon selection, staffing changes, the works. Then in 2010, I stepped down from my steady gig in sunny Ventura to found the Faith at Home ministry in cold and snowy Crosslakes, Minnesota.
I worried both in my role as senior pastor of the big church and my role as founding leader of a startup ministry, but I’ve grown into a completely different attitude toward worry. Oversimplified, I just don’t care.
I mean, I care.
But I also don’t care.
When I guest preach around the country, I preach in jeans. I really am not worried about what they think. I don't worry about their reaction. I’m not saying that I don’t care. I do. I care very much about the person. There's a difference.
The difference is a matter of personal peace. I have more joy and I had to learn that. Jesus is confronting us to acknowledge that every day we have something to worry about. But I can also choose not to let that worry control me.
Good and bad worry hinges on a choice. A personal decision. Am I going to choose to worry or not? Jesus gave us some insight on this when he referenced birds and flowers. Look at the birds fly. See the lilies grow.
When you're worried in a bad way, where are you looking? Down. When you are worrying and pondering your concerns in a good way, where are you looking? Around. You’re still concerned about other people and circumstances. Like an effective basketball dribbler, you’re bouncing the ball without looking at the ball or the floor, because you’re looking for passing or shooting opportunities.
We can worry with our heads up, but not with our heads down, because we quickly lose perspective on theological truth – namely, that God is still in control and he holds all the circumstances in his hand. Pick your head up.
By English: Cpl Erik Villagran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons