December 3, 2006

Conversations with a Future Church Planter pt. 6

I am continuing the series: Conversations with a Future Church Planter. Here is the rest of the series. This conversation shows the development of thought that occurs during a discussion, and how people wrestle with various forms of ministry.

Here is my response:

I think he/she is right about those who complain and criticize. They are often not the ones doing "well." If they were doing "well" they would find their own ways to justify what they were doing and what they had previously criticized. We have to be careful about critiquing anything publicly and openly. In the presence of safe company is one thing-discussing the pros and cons of each aspect.

Personally I think you are right about reducing only the act of preaching to a video/non-live event from a "professional." I don't see much difference between a video sermon and sitting at home in my living room watching television. I believe in incarnational ministry.

But (and here I am perfectly postmodern in contradicting myself) I think there are many who pastor who should not be preachers because they were not called to preach...they simply preach because there are no non-preaching ministries available to them and their gifting. This is a systemic problem...they are trapped in a system that doesn't allow them to work in the fullness of their gifting and calling. I know someone pastoring a church who is not a preacher...He is a GREAT pastor. He loves people. He is great with leading and caring, but his preaching is not very good. It will get better with practice, but his true gifting is elsewhere. Multi-site are helpful for people called to minister but not preach...they don't have to preach, but they can pastor and lead.

Here is another contradicting-myself-illustration. I used to despise the idea of someone preaching the sermons from the back of preaching magazines and websites. I thought, and still really do think, it is irresponsible and lazy. BUT, I worked for a pastor who's preaching improved 100% when he started preaching the sermons word-for-word from the back of a magazine. I actually learned something from the preaching. Do I think it is wrong? Yes. Is it wrong in this case? Technically it would be best for the pastor to have put in his own work, but if he won't, I would prefer what he preach from the magazine.

Like the person said, “All man-made ministry models have their flaws.” I do, however, think some flaws are worse than others, and that we need to evaluate the entire system to make sure that the end product (business speak) is what we really want the end product to be. You will see this illustrated in most of the complaints lodged at a seminary...the current seminary system is set-up to create minister-scholars and has very little that relates to practical ministry (a few practicums don't count). What is needed is a seminary system that creates educated-practitioners. Every model has its problem. Once the new system is created, there will be other problems.

Business-speak used to bother me a lot. I resisted, but after pastoring for awhile and seeing that the church is also a business I don't mind it so much. I also don't mind it because sometimes people with the right motives are doing the same things (externally speaking) as those who don’t have the right motives. I hope this makes sense. I don't unequivocally accept all business-speak...because just, like political-language, the church is not of the political or the business realm. But we can learn from anything and everything.

I am passionate about reaching lost people. I will do my best to be BOTH supernatural and smart. I will use whatever works (as long as it doesn't contradict the Gospel) to advance the kingdom. We will never get it right. I have my issues with multi-site, but I also know that many people are doing it for the right reasons (again postmodern double-speak). I think each person has to seek God's face and His vision for what they are to do, trust God to lead him/her each step of the way, take into account the opinions of others, but, at the end of the day, go the way they feel God is leading despite all the critics and naysayers. As a pastor there will be MANY who critique and criticize what you do. You have to learn to listen to them, but not be discourage from the path God calls you to.

No comments:

Post a Comment