Went on my semi-annual sermon retreat earlier in the week. Last year, I was pretty much alone at the lodge, but this year I shared the facility with two groups.
One was a bunch of pastors from throughout the Southeast. The other group made decorative rugs using special hooks. And yes, they call themselves hookers.
I noticed two things.
One, the hookers were happy. They were doing what they loved with people who loved it, too.
I think the best way to describe the pastors would be “weary.” Nice guys, but tired. It was obvious why they called their event a “retreat” while the rug makers were attending “camp” in the same building.
I could relate to the pastors. I was on a "retreat" too, and I’ve been “weary with doing well” quite a few times. It’s a byproduct of working in my strength instead of God’s power. (One of the evidences of doing things in God’s power is joy.)
Second, the rug makers really wanted me to join their group. When I showed the slightest polite interest, they were ready to get me my own starter kit and hand me a hook. The pastors, on the other hand, weren’t really looking to add members—or even help the rug makers discover the joy that is only found in Jesus.
Hopefully, by the end of their retreat, the weary pastors were showing more joy—and more interest in helping the rug makers become Jesus followers. But for those first two days, I knew who I wanted to hang out with.
And I wonder if we would reach more people for Jesus if we were less like the preachers and more like the hookers.