At the peak
of a ‘successful’ Youth Ministry I was sitting at a junior high event when it
dawned on me, I didn’t enjoy this anymore.
In a sense I was saying to myself that I had grown up and no longer
enjoyed running around with junior high students as their entertainment
director. I didn’t want to be that kid
playing with kids any longer, and when an opportunity in the church presented
itself I applied to be the Senior Pastor.
was met with resistance.
wisdom said that a Youth Pastor couldn’t make it at the same church as a Senior
In other words people would
always see me as the “Kid playing with Kids.”
Not one to give into conventional wisdom I said that I would apply but not
accept the position unless 95% of the congregation voted for me, and when the
results came in it was close to 98%.
seemed to be an overwhelming confirmation of God’s will, but the Elders were
There were a couple willing to
give me a chance and a couple who didn’t want to, but the people had spoken and
I became the Senior Pastor.
mobile evangelicalism successful Senior Pastor’s have a persona, an image, a
dignified way of doing things.
who wanted that kind of image I didn’t fit.
It wasn’t that I brought the image of Youth Ministry into the adult
world, but my personality wasn’t (and isn’t) that of the typical CEO.
Constant conflict between the elders and me
revolved around an attempt to form me into an image of something that God had
not created me to be.
practical teaching and preaching to the pulpit, I started a small group
ministry, I led my staff relationally, and I tried to focus the church on
Did I do it all perfectly, no?
The tension between the elders and me seemed
to never cease.
It wasn’t their fault
I was as stubborn toward their
desire for me to change as they were to me changing.
Elder board was no longer a safe place where I could wrestle with my own
deficiencies and be encouraged toward a better relationship with Christ.
is a mixture of ministry and business.
It is about people and institution.
In our culture the institutional structures sometimes get in the way the
business of ministry.
It is no longer
sufficient for a pastor to love people and teach the word; he must be a
strategist, organizer, recruiter, motivator, counselor, shepherd, prophet,
teacher, and communicator.
He is to be
compassionate, loving, forgiving while holding people accountable and
administering discipline without the two conflicting.
It is very exhausting.
4:12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech,
conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you. 15 Take pains
with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident
The only image that Paul was concerned for Timothy to
portray was one of character wrapped around his spiritual gifting.
I Hate Church because it doesn’t allow Pastors
to shine in their character and gifting, but derails them because of their lack
in other areas, and when they don’t conform they find it necessary to move
I’m just saying… (Continued).