You should read last week’s blog. It’s called “Why I Quit Pastoring in Hawaii.”
An angry friend emailed, describing the article as “rude, hateful, arrogant, harsh, prideful & verges on stupidity.” I wouldn’t have thought that but to each his own.
My deeper opinion might be even more upsetting if the blog was all my friend described. We need to turn our approach to church upside down.
The problem seems to be a difference of opinion over how we operate churches.
The prevailing operating system coddles people. At its best, the goal is to equip faithful volunteers maintaining an island of Christianity in a dying world.
The church needs a different OS because leaders are called to “to equip the saints for the work of ministry”(Ephesians 4:12 ESV). We’re not to settle for semi-regular church attencers who toss a few bucks in the bucket while expecting uplift and attention.
This OS builds disciples who make disciples that make disciples to the third or fourth generation.
The end goal is to transform cultures and nations. Filling seats on Sunday is not enough—even if you sweeten the deal with a few community service projects.
If we expect to disciple nations, let alone neighborhoods, our intended results extend beyond the needs of our congregation to a hurting and often hostile world.
A New OS Requires a Different Church Culture
We must swap a culture of spectators and volunteers for one of equippers and everyday missionaries. The patients should become the healers.
Effective congregation leaders will acknowlege and release the APEST gifts among us. It’s our duty to equip the equippers to equip the members if we expect to function as missionary outposts.
Jesus taught us to love God, love our neighbor, and make disciples teaching them to love God, love their neighbors and make disciples teaching them and so on—rinse and repeat. If done well, the process is self- replicating. The end goal is to conquer nations with the love of God.
Uncomfortable and Dissatisfied
The Great Commission should make every church leader feel uncomfortable and dissatisfied with merely shepherding the flock or managing a program.
The call is to inflame revolutionaries, not produce contented Christians.
Discipling nations includes comforting the hurting, freeing prisoners and healing the sick. But we’ll never get to heaing people outside the church and across oceans in a leader-dominated and Sunday-centric environment.
Call me crazy or everything my friend did, but I believe we are to incite spiritual revolutionaries. That won’t happen if we help our members to sit and be satisfied.
Comments are welcome, including criticisms.