As Courageous has been making headlines around the country for the success in the box office, I have been rejoicing at all that God is doing through it. I’ve kinda been surprised that my small role in the ministry aspect of it has caused me to be interviewed by a few different sources. The Bible Study book that I worked on is available now, but the whole kit with the DVD and extras won’t be available until Feb. 2012.
In a phone interview last week, someone had already picked up the book and asked me this question: “Why isn’t your name on the cover?”
As you can see by the picture, the leaders for Sherwood Baptist Church and Sherwood Pictures names are on the cover, and this inquiring mind on the other side of the phone wanted to know where mine was.
I’ve got to be honest with you. When I received that first email to be a part of this movement, I signed up assuming a few things. I thought I was going to be a ghost writer for the project. I thought the Sherwood crew would give me a direction, I would work hard in an undisclosed location, and no one would ever know about my involvement. I’ve got friends who do that type of stuff with certain books and curriculum, and I figured that’s what I was doing. One conversation with Stephen Kendrick in Nashville surprised me when he said, “Look, we’re going to put your name in the book. You do a ton of the work and someone will probably put your name on a later page or something saying that you developed it.” He rolled his eyes at me and said, “Some of this stuff is ridiculous.”
I was surprised because: 1) I thought I would be Casper the Writer, and 2) I really don’t care.
Who cares if my name is on the cover? Who cares if it is on the second page or the last page? Who cares if I’m remembered at all? In this complex ministry time that we are in, so many people are focused on building platforms rather than making disciples. Sometimes, we are all so busy proclaiming the name of our brand or ministry, that no one hears the name of Jesus over all the noise. We need to return to a time when we focus on collectively proclaiming the name Jesus and not our own individual names.
I explained to this well-intended person on the phone that day: “Look, I was humbled to be asked to be a part of this. Pastor Catt, Stephen and Alex are the guys who came up with the message and the movie. I took those ideas and developed them into a Bible study that we all collaborated on for a very long time together. They are men of God. I was thrilled to be a part of this.”
“Does it bother you? In this industry, everyone knows that the person it is ‘developed with’ did most of the work? Yet, your name is not even on the cover.”
I replied, “I love that part! It reminds me that it has nothing to do with me, and God could have used anyone to do this. I signed on before I was given a contract. I hadn’t even thought that I would actually get paid to do this! I was honored to be a part of something that God would use to impact homes around the country.”
While I thought I had summed it all up, I obviously had not. “Well, it would bother me. Are you sure it doesn’t remotely offend you?”
“I must decrease, he must increase. I am a worship pastor in Greenwood, South Carolina. The very fact that I was asked to do this says more about our God than it does about me.”
No matter what you are doing for the Kingdom today, let this be a reminder: if you are doing it for the applause of men, you will receive it, but you may lose the approval of God. Humble yourself and do something solely for the approval of God.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servantt of Christ. -Gal. 1:10
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. -Matt. 5:16