Erwin McManus is an excellent communicator, which makes it all the more tragic that my sound bytes of notes won’t demonstrate the cohesiveness of his message, but here goes. He does one session walking through Solomon and Ecclesiastes (he’s currently teaching on it – check the Mosaic podcast. Series titled “Reality Check”). He starts with the statement that “wisdom and knowledge are not “enough.” He’s referring to the fact that Solomon, writing Ecclesiastes later in life, thinks everything is meaningless.
The ministry application is that ministry can suck the meaning out of our lives. We get so pragmatic that we lose our souls. And it has had effects on our people. We teach them (by deed, if not by word) that their lives don’t have meaning outside of ministry.
This is where McManus gets provocative. He says Solomon is wrong when he says there’s “nothing new under the sun.” God says so in Isaiah 43.19 (I think this is what he referenced. I didn't have time to write it down). God is doing new things all the time. God gave us imagination and creativity, but we’ve abdicated creating the future to people who don’t know the Living God. We need to focus on living lives of meaning as leaders and help people find meaning in their own lives.
This is a good challenge. I can go on auto-pilot with my life too often instead of seeking to live with significance and meaning. What about you?
Random notes: We keep confusing fame and greatness. If we focus on fame, we’ll never hit greatness. (To link it to the body of the message, I suppose it indicates that there’s a difference between all this meaning talk and fame. We can live meaningfully without being famous.