"It's all about momentum. For a long time a boat you launch from the dock and give it all the power you have will go slowly, nose in the air. It seems like there is nothing you can do. Then after a certain amount of speed is attained the nose will drop and with the same amount of power you will see the boat go faster and faster. Planting a Church is like that. It takes a long time. Then, the momentum picks up and things begin to happen".
Tony Atkinson, a pastor friend of mine, came to Belpre Ohio 30 years ago. For over 3 years he fought hard to get the church up to 8 people. Then, things started to happen. The nose dropped. Speed picked up. When he recently left for another church attendance was over 500 and they had just finished a new sanctuary able to seat 1000.
That's the way it is. At the other end of the spectrum is doing the wrong things that may well cause that boat to sink or capsize. That sadly is the state of many churches today.
Mark Batterson is the pastor of a church in Washington DC. He is someone I knew from Calvary Church. He has earned the right to speak and teach on being an effective leader and pastor. He has 10 areas of vulnerability every pastor must embrace. Read them and learn.
I have a book given me when I was licenced as a Minister several years ago. One of it's tenants is "Don't be too transparent, people won't hold you in esteem". Really? I have recently reviewed it. It's laughable. I am learning so much from the young men I know and work with about being real. That's what the mainline church needs.
If the next generation brings fresh authenticity and vulnerability it will be enough. I am sick to here of Religiously bound pastors. Here's the sad part. I am going to forward this to about 100 pastors I have on an email list. I think what Mark said is important. The smaller the church the less likely the pastors who receive this will embrace this. THAT'S WHY THEY ARE SMALLER AND DECLINING. The guy who has been pastor for 30 years and has a church of 200 will poo poo the whole idea. The guy who has a church of 1000 will say YES and AMEN. That's why he has a church of 1000. Especially if he built it from scratch. Vulnerability doesn't exist because the pastors who can't be vulnerable have a distorted vision of who Jesus is and who they are.
Get over your bad self. You aren't that important. Your call is, but Jesus could have used a donkey. "It's the call stupid" to paraphrase Bill Clinton.
IT STILL IS.