"No, you just don’t get it, singing hymns is so out", "no, singing praise diddys is out", "no, seeker is out, emergent is well basically screwed up, no missional is in. . ." Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. On and on it goes, somebody did something that draws a crowd, so they write a book, host seminars and all the rest of the nations "wanna be," pastors flock to the conferences to learn how to bring their church up to date with the latest move. We really don’t like "not getting it."
Unfortunately, this pattern guarantees not only do we not "get it," we never will as long as we think this is how it is gotten. I’m old enough now and have followed this pattern enough myself that I’m over it. I see the current wave of new church guru’s who think they know something and now they are the experts, but in a year or two they will be old news. Church’s keep pursuing different styles like a French fashion designer. Frankly, I’m so sick of it I barely can stand to go to a church meeting anymore. I’ve played the church game, I’ve tried to persuade people to jump through all the hoops that would make us be what I thought a church should be but it is so wearisome both for leaders and followers.
You know what? I really don’t care what works in California, New York or Chicago. I don’t care who is doing what in L.A. I don’t care what some guy is doing in Korea! What does that have to do with where I live. See, every church is a snowflake. No two churches have identical gift and passion mixes among their staff. No congregation has the same gift mixing among their congregations. No two churches are in the exact geographical areas. There is only one Head of the church and it isn’t the Pope or Rick Warren or any other "successful" church leader! I hear the cries already, "we can glean from these other ministries." If gleaning were what we did it may be okay, if and only if we practice the next paragraph then "glean," that would be acceptable. But we don’t glean that way. We pick and choose from the various models like grocery shopping and still at best have a church that is made up of our best thinking and oh yes, a prayer after the fact for God’s blessing on our plan.
The solution is for pastors and their staffs, elders and other leaders to take their time and get on their faces before the head of the church, Jesus Christ. Confess their sin of attempting to make it like . . . Confess their sin of ego. Confess their sin of trying everything but intentional seeking the face of God for direcion. If my people would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways THEN I WILL. . .
Seeking God for a unique congregation’s purpose and direction has amazing results. First, when a pastor or team hear from God it builds great confidence and boldness in leading the church. People hear the ring of authenticity rather than another copy cat. The vision will perfectly fit the church because God knows exactly what that church is to accomplish. The ministry will experience renewal, and success like never before. The leadership’s passion will be so real you could cut it with a knife. People will be drawn to the Lord through that place. Deep conversions happen, lives change, people develop new patterns of living and God is worshipped in Spirit and Truth.
It is a sad commentary on ministry when our leaders are more aware of how Erwin McManus, Ed Young, Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, etc. say about how to do church than they are with what the new testament teaches and the Head of the Church says to them personally.