Friday, August 31, 2012

Does the label "church planter" help or hurt a pastor?

I've been deeply immersed in the church planting world for years now.  I've been wrestling with the term "church-planter".  Does it really help a person who is going to start a new church?  In some ways, it probably does.  It identifies a certain direction in ministry that God's given that person.

But in my own journey down that road, I began to find it limiting in a number of ways.  I'd love your thoughts on these points . . .
  • "Church-planter" draws entrepreneurial spirits, which we need to get new ventures off the ground.  But we need pastors to lead churches - even brand new ones.  Is it possible that this attracts some of the wrong people to take the lead in starting a new church and subtly excludes some people who could lead churches very strongly?
  • We have created large organizations to partner with church planters.  Is it possible that we're creating a "welfare mentality" for these pastors of new churches?  Would it not be healthier for their support (relationally, coaching and mentoring, financial) to come from a tribe of local pastors who believe in them?
Ok, that's enough for now.  What do you think?  I'd love to have your help honing some of this new vision God is birthing in my spirit for the next season of my life.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Even a STRONG opinion . . .

. . . is still just an opinion.

I spend several hours each day in a truck with a 65-year-old man (he's my boss) who has strong opinions on every issue you could ever think of.  He talks endlessly about it all.  I listen a lot and do very little talking. To see me in action, you might think I have very few of my own opinions.  But it's not true.  I have strong opinions too.  And mine differ from his about 99.9% of the time.  I mean, I hardly agree with anything that comes out of this guy's mouth.  

But does that really?  Do my opinions - even strong ones - really matter that much?  Do yours?  I'm going to go out on a limb and say, probably not.  

A wise man I know said to me a few years back, "The older I get the less impressed I am with my own opinion."  That's really stuck with me.

So, maybe the next time you hear someone spout off their opinion (especially one you strongly disagree with), instead of blasting them and telling them all the reasons they are wrong, you could say the same thing I say 10x a day to my boss . . . "You might be right."  Or, you could say nothing at all - imagine that.  After all, he (they) might be right and I (we) might just be wrong.  

Even your strong opinions are still just opinions.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

people I highly respect

There is a group of people I have a growing respect for.  Here they are . . .

  • Canceled their cable or gotten rid of their TV . . . but don't pressure you to do it too.
  • Deactivated their facebook account . . . but don't don't pressure you to do it too.
  • Pushed through a Dip in their life . . . but don't presume you're in the same Dip.
  • Send their kids to Christian school . . . but don't pressure you to do it too.
  • Send their kids to public school . . . but don't pressure you to do it too.
  • Never touch a drop of alcohol . . . but don't pressure you to follow suit.
  • Never watch an "R" rated movie . . . but don't pressure you to do the same.
You see the pattern?  With the explosion of social media, it seems that everyone is free to share their story - for free.  I'm glad about that.  It's a good thing.  But, as we share our stories, let's resist the temptation to take the things God is speaking to us and make those things a universal principle everyone else must follow.  Hey, I struggle with this as much as the next guy - probably more.  That's probably why I notice it so much.  But, let's all allow God be as creative with others as He's been with us.  Enjoy where you are and don't worry so much about others.

Friday, August 3, 2012

good stuff God is doing!

Over the last year, I can hardly believe the transformation God has brought to my life.  There is nothing else I can attribute that to besides prayer and the grace of God.  Thank you for being such a vital part of helping to transform this man's life.  I think I've only just begun what God has in mind for me!

God seems to be bringing some new opportunities my way that I'm very excited about.  I'm in the very beginning stages of a new role serving as a leader for Community Groups at City Church.  I'm also seeing God bring together some opportunities for life plans and coaching.  I'm really excited about all this.  I'm just seeking God on where and when to step.  It feels like there is a lot of great possibility in the very near future and I want to walk toward the opportunities God's presenting to me.

A couple other things I'm praying about:
  • Diligence and energy to work through my 90-day goals from my Life Plan - I have a ton of 90-day action steps I'm working on as a result of my life plan I completed last month.  I'm on track, but I want to stay focused on those things God has shown me.
  • Journey Group - Just last night I was introduced to Journey Groups.  I'm considering joining one.  I'm hesitant to add something to my schedule because I feel like there is so much opportunity on the horizon with coaching, etc.  But I do want to seek God on this because I believe it could be something very key in my life and in helping me disciple others.
  • Healthier & stronger body - One of my goals from my life plan is to view the back pain I've been struggling with as a "thorn in the flesh"  That perspective has really changed things for me.  However, that doesn't mean I'm not continuing to believe that God is bringing healing.  I pray daily for a strong and straight spine.  
Thanks, again, for your prayers.  Please let me know how I can pray for you today.