Well I have been doing this church thing for some 17 years now. I know by my pic you are saying but how he only looks 25. I know I know shocking but it is true. Well over my years in ministry I have been extremely bold on occations and extremely sacred in others. In the times when I am bold I feel invigorated and full of life and feel like I can take on the world. However, when I am afraid and I function based on my fear it is cripling. So today I wanted to talk about what happens when you lead church in FEAR MODE.
Here are some things that I have seen when church leaders lead scared me included:
1. You risk very little- When you are scared and also leading you many time risk very little. Here is what I mean by this. fear says "what if we spend the money and no one comes" ; "what if people are offending by what we do or say" (who will be offended the Christian sub-culture or the people you are trying to reach) Risk was the only thing that the followers of Jesus had. They risked everything for the chance to make an impact. I often wonder why we are so concerned about what others think when God is asking us to risk big for Him. GCC challenged me with this when they chose to do "MyLameSexLife.com in the middle of Granger, Indiana. If they can do that in the middle of Indiana what is keeping us from risking for God.
2. You listen to the naysayers- When you are scared you listen to everyone who says I don't think we can do that people may be offended, or people might leave the church, what if people stop giving, or what will my fellow pastor friends think. I am sorry but if that is you maybe you are in the wrong field. Maybe you should join the traveling puppet team because that is all you are a puppet on a string. God did not call you to be a puppet he called you to lead and when leaders do not lead they cease to be leaders. I can tell you this if I had listened to all of the naysayers in my life Relevant Church would not exist. Maybe we should listen to God first. For more on listening check out my buddy Jamie's post has some interesting insight.
3. You conform rather than create- Most churches that I see right now look like every other church around them and they send out marketing pieces that look like everyone else's and then sit back and wonder why no one is coming to their churches. Maybe they feel like they have already been there and done that. I challenge you to create mantra in your church. Create an image that only you can do. The key is only you can be you and just because someone else across the city says that you cannot and should not do it a certain way does not mean that you have to listen to them. Be creative that is the way God made you he did not mean for you to conform. Romans 12 talks about that and I think that verses has as much to do with the Christian world view as it does with the so called secular world view whatever that is.
So here is my closing thought. DON'T BE SCARED!!! Be Bold and watch what God will do. Here is a quick example. We decided 3 years ago to partner with a local event company to help put on an event called Guavaween here in Tampa. The first year we just served then last year we provided candy now this year we are running one of the stages for the daytime activity. Well with that involvement comes criticism and financial burdens and this year we have taken on something that was way bigger than we could afford. And I will admit I have been scared because I like for my kids to eat. Well all I can say is that just today a check came in the mail for $5000 from someone who does not even attend our church and I can tell you God was saying to me very clearly DON'T BE SCARED.
So on out and and raise a few eyebrows and ruffle things up for the Kingdom with being afraid.