Eight Questions I Believe Pastors Should Wrestle With—Part Four

Jan 23, 2009

Last post of the series…

#7 - Am I being faithful or looking for a formula?  

REALLY need to spend some time here!  In the fall of 2002 our church grew from 504 to 1,600 in a period of six weeks.  In 2006 our church went from averaging 4,000 a weekend in the spring to averaging around 8,000 a weekend in the fall.

When I tell pastors and church leaders that they all ask the same question, “What did you do?”  (After all, God probably had NOTHING to do with it, right?)

SO MANY pastors out there want a formula to make their church grow…and so they hop from conference to conference trying to figure out what might work rather than BEGGING God for a white hot vision that will change the community that they are in.
Here’s the deal…we didn’t “do” anything during those amazing times of growth.  (We did move into a new facility in 2006…but still didn’t expect that type of growth!!!)  We didn’t launch a new program.  We didn’t really change anything…we just simply kept doing the vision God gave us week in and week out…and He blew us away as a result.

My job as a pastor is NOT to find the latest, greatest church growth methods…but rather to be completely faithful and obedient to the vision God has poured inside of me.

One more thing…yes, we SHOULD go to conferences…we should learn as much as we can from others…however, our leadership should be DOMINATED by REVELATION from God rather than INSPIRATION from others.

#8 - Am I trying to be the Messiah in my church…or lead them to the REAL ONE?

Pastors…STOP trying to be perfect.

Our goal should be to make much of Jesus…and that means embracing John 3:30 and, at times, being honest with our people about our trials and struggles.

People can identify way more with our mistakes than they can our successes.  AND they don’t need US to be the Messiah…but rather to LEAD them to Jesus.

Paul was honest with his struggle in Romans 7:15-20…we should always be willing to be honest as well.

My church doesn’t need me to be their hero…they need to know about Christ and how, without Him, I would be completely screwed when it comes to life and eternity.

One more thing…I am NOT saying to confess your sins every Sunday to your church…what I am saying is don’t be afraid to tell them about the time you were insensitive to your wife, you got angry when someone cut you off in traffic, the seasons with which you struggled with porn…

Leading with integrity is embracing honesty!  We should always use our weaknesses to point others to Christ’s strength.

One more thing…when you do talk about your struggles you will have people criticize you.  Just remember that when that happens people usually find delight in finding fault in others so they don’t have to deal with their own mess.  They want you to be perfect…but they are not perfect…which makes them a hypocrite.  Love them through it and always be honest!