So enjoyed lunch with a new friend, Matt Evans, pastor at Rockbridge Community Church in Dalton, GA. It’s one of those kinds of relationships that has an immediate connection and affinity. What an encouragment for me, personally. You are talking about a guy that has the “fragrance of Christ” in his life…a breath of fresh air. God has used Matt, already, in our journey in many, many ways! Yesterday, even more so…all I continue to say is, wowww! God is ALWAYS at work raising up great men like Matt to lead people into His presence.
Archive for the ‘Pastor’ Category
As a pastor, my job is not to fill the building, my job is to fill the pulpit.
H.B. London reports that neckties may be an American institution that is shutting down. The Men’s Dress Furnishings Association, which has represented American tie makers for more than 60 years, has shuttered its New York City headquarters and, later this month, plans to close down for good. Some industry watchers don’t think neckties themselves are on the way out, but, in a 2007 Gallup poll, 67 percent of men “never” wear ties to work – more today seem to appreciate ties for personal style reasons, reports abcnews.com. Personally, I’ve always loved to wear a nice suit, however, I’ve also loved to wear my jeans. I think “creative tension” as Ed Young calls it, is a good thing for pastors on a platform. Keep ‘em guessing what you’ll have on next!
I have been a lead pastor since 1991 and have met some great pastors and many not-so-great pastors. I love pastors and being a pastor, but here’s the premise: Have you ever met a pastor that you would describe this way: Goofball, arrogant, self-consumed, and assumingly God’s gift to the office of the pastor? I have, and I can remember as a young boy looking at pastors feeling like they were mostly out of touch with people. They seemed to have a life that was perfect. They seemed too educated for their own good. They often acted holier than thou and had no real personality to relate to people as life was. I was not very impressed, to say the least.
That is one of the reasons I ran from the calling of being a pastor. I ran through about four large companies after graduating UGA, thinking I was just selling the wrong product. I later realized that I was selling the wrong product. I finally understood that God was calling me to be a pastor and that I needed to be in sales, for sure, but I needed to be giving away the product of Christ. I have found in my study of people and pastors over the last twenty years, that there are more pastors than not, that have insecurity issues, co-dependency issues, self-esteem issues, relatability issues, and oftentimes, family issues. The sad part is, without help, it translates over into the people they lead. Many would dare not think about counseling! Remember, somebody made that taboo; I’m not sure who, but it could not be further from the truth. We all need daily counseling to some degree!
Some pastors just don’t get it! They turn on the “brother” voice, the “sister” voice, the “I’ll pray for you” voice, the “I’m busy” voice, the “me and mine” voice, and have consumed themselves with finding their every identity in the church they pastor and one more thing; busyness. My friend, Brian Fossett, calls it “white-sock, brown-shoe” mentality. Hey, they feel good being busy, but going nowhere fast. It makes them feel more important. Most pastors I’ve met are not on the radar of unchurched and unreached people. They’re too odd! They’re too weird! As a result of this, our churches have become interior-minded, herding sheep instead of looking for new sheep. Oftentimes, the pastor’s children often get the terrible end of the deal. It’s really the superman phenomenon. We like being liked, needed, and approved by people! Pastors like the credit they receive from people. Pastors like their mission field but nobody else’s. They are for reaching people, but only if they’ll come to their church, give to their church, and serve in their church. Pastors, let me ask you to consider several things:
- Are you where God wants you?
- Are you really called?
- Are you being true to yourself or jumping through the hoops others expect of you?
- Do you care more about what your denominational connection says than God?
- Does it just feel like a job to you?
- Are you being true with yourself, honest with yourself, and real with yourself?
Some of you need to make a move very quickly. Some of you need to change your direction in life very quickly. Some of you are miserable and are nothing but a square peg in a round hole, trying to make it work. You hate what you do. It’s fine; just find the lane you should be in. Maybe you need to be bi-vocational and use the business gift you have, too. Maybe you need to stay in the ministry, but shift where you are and how you serve. You need freedom. You need to feel it. It needs to be the vision God gave you, not the vision your mentor gave you. You need truism. If you are not doing what you need to be doing, you will begin acting like you shouldn’t be acting and you will find yourself paddling underwater with no real joy, only duty. Step out, risk, trust, resign, stay, walk on water, change, repent, forgive. I want to be real. Do something real!