Archives For March 2017

OTJ Training

March 31, 2017 — Leave a comment

I shared yesterday my desire to lead a congregation into a new vision while honoring the work of the past.th

Especially in the work of the Pastorate. I have been reading a great book, The Vine & The Trellis, whose premise is that congregations spends way to much time on the institution of church (the trellis) rather than attending the vine (discipleship & growth).

One very poignant chapter suggests that the most effective pastor is one who is a preacher & trainer. That they are training the leaders (Deacons, Elders, Chaplain) for the ministry of the church. The idea is that the pastor can only effectively engage with 100-150 people. So we have a capacity. BUT, if we train the leaders to do ministry, then our capacity is multiplied.

This is a very different model than the preacher & caregiver. This model sees the pastor as the only one with the authority or effectiveness to visit, lead and teach. This model is old and is the cause of burnt out pastors (including me a few years ago!). It is the role of a chaplain. Not a church planter.

So… my challenge is to love those who need a chaplain until the leaders are trained to take the role of minister (He did say we were to be a Kingdom of Priests!). This is way out of my comfort zone–but hey, I am begging the congregation ALL OF THE TIME to leave theirs.

“God, please give me the grace, patience and TIME to meet with those who cannot see past the model of pastor as personal chaplain. Raise from within a group of men willing to take on the role of ministry and equip them with your grace. Use me, O Lord, as a coach, a trainer, building up your people and cultivating in them the work You are doing. Allow that I may listen before speaking and take criticism with discernment. Lord, please use me and MBBC to move your Kingdom forward. Amen.”

Leadership

March 30, 2017 — Leave a comment

Its been over a year since assuming the role as Lead Pastor. God is moving greatly in this place, it is easy to see His handiwork. I am unbelievable humbled to be here.

Yet I am feeling the great weight of the next phase of Leadership–living into a NEW vision. As I see it, the greatest challenge is to lead this group into a new ministry model while honoring they way they did it before.

That sounds a little too simple. So over the next few days, as my own personal therapy–I am going to blog, while praying God would give me the grace to lead His people in a way that would glorify and honor Him.

Here is my first–and most important challenge.

Understanding Scripture. My desire for them is that they are able to read and handle the text themselves. At times it would seem they have lost sight of the actual words and have replaced them with the topical, pretext sermons and lectures they have heard. I reminds me of a fine piece of furniture–say a dresser–one where the craftsman chosen the most select cherry boards, dimensioned the lumber, hand cut the mortise and tenon joints, perfectly dovetailed each drawer, rubbed multiple coats of oil on it to bring out the grain and finished it with the most beautiful antique brass hardware. And then someone takes it home, uses it for awhile, neglects it, gives it to their neighbor and they decide to paint it pink for their daughter’s bedroom. The daughter gets a little older and they paint it green. After a while, the daughter gets a new bedroom set and the piece of furniture is given to another neighbor–that neighbor decides to use it in their garage, so its painted bright red, gets covered in grease and oil and is put out in the alley for “free”.

That dresser–hand crafted and beautiful–reminds me of the Scriptures. The various coats of paint, grease and oil remind me of the topical sermons we hear. The messages and studies where the Word has been taken out of context to prove a particular point, that may or may not be there. The hours of listening to someone else tell us what the Bible says, not reading it for ourselves–and forgetting to test the spirits.

I desire that they take that dresser, strip away all of the goop and get to the beauty of the wood grain again. That they are able to read, discern and see the Scriptures fresh with the illumination of the Holy Spirit and that it would bring about a renewing of their mind.

Why do I care that they can study the Scriptures? Because I love the people here, and I want what is best for them. I love them and want them to know God fully as He has revealed Himself in the Bible.