Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Parable of the Mashed Potatoes

There once was a man making mashed potatoes, he diced potatoes and put them into a pot to boil on the stove so the potatoes would be tender and easily mashed.
But instead of watching over the pot, and diligently checking the pot, he left the pot and carried out other duties.
When the man returned to the pot, the water had boiled away greatly and there was not enough mashed potatoes remaining in the pot to feed his family.

I heard this story, and put it into this crazy parable because for some reason I began thinking about Christians and the "earthly meaning" to this story. I began to wonder if Christians today aren't very much like this sad little potatoes.

We easily create Christians, people who accept that Jesus died for their sins and will attend church. But then, instead of watching them, tending them, we leave them to grow and change while we carry out our other duties.
Only, a few years later there are less Christians still faithful to the church than what you originally got saved, and what you do have left is slowly drying and fixing itself so firmly to the pot (aka the Church) that it can no longer be taken out of the church to be useful.

When Jesus chose His followers, He put upon Himself a vested interested in their teaching. He told everyone parables, He explained the parables to His people.
He taught and prayed with everyone, He asked His disciples to pray with Him.

Can you think of more examples of how His disciples were set apart from the crowd in their teaching experiences by Jesus?

I think that too much in the churches today falls on the pastor. We all tend to become like potatoes stuck to the pot, and none of us apparently know how to cook for ourselves. Or how to begin the cooking process in someone else - and complete it.

I believe more people in the church need to step up and stop waiting for someone else to cook the potatoes disciple new believers coming into the church. Leaders, Mature Christians, all should be reaching out to the new believers and leading them.

I believe in a church hierarchy. I believe it is something that becomes an obvious need - much like Moses complaining to his father-in-law Jethro that the people always have needs all the time. Jethro outlines putting people in charge of groups of tens, hundreds, thousands, and Moses leads those leaders.

It's how you keep your pastor, your pastor. Otherwise, he's just a man running his tail off trying to be everything to everyone. And he can't. So guess what happens then?
His family suffers
His prayer time suffers.
His time of Bible study suffers.
Until finally, he's so busy being a pastor that he's not one anymore.

So all you fellow mashed potatoes believers, step up. Disciple someone even through you're frightened by the prospect. Talk to your pastor about how to begin if you're nervous, talk to your small group leaders, talk to any leader in your church to ask their advice and uhum.. leadership on the issue. Then do it.

Someone needs to be tending the potatoes, getting them out of the pot, and ready to cook some potatoes themselves.

I love this parable. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great analogy, Jeanette!!