Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When to fight

I had lunch today with Kent Smith. Kent is the pastor of River Hills Baptist Church and is one great guy (he even picked up the tab for lunch... all you can eat wings!). He's got a kingdom mindset and a bunch of leadership wisdom that he's willing to pass down... which is good for me because I need as much help as I can get!

He gave an analogy that's worth blogging about (partly for my own processing and partly because it might be helpful to some of my church planting friends). We were talking about vision and being the leader and what issues/decisions are worth fighting about. He said that any decision or idea or opportunity that could change the direction of the ship is worth fighting over. Decisions about how the ship is run or about how to do something on the ship that will still keep it going in the right direction aren't worth fighting over.

As the church planter, I am responsible for the direction of the ship. It's my job to guard and protect the vision. That doesn't mean that I come up with a direction and then take off after it. It does mean that I believe God has revealed a vision about who and what he wants us to be as a church and I am a steward of that vision. Anything that gets us off course, then, is a life or death issue (because obedience is a life or death issue), thus my job is to keep us on course.

So, fight when the direction (vision/revelation) is at stake. But remember, not all battles are direction changing. If you fight over those you become a dictator. It's not your or my job to be a dictator. Leave that to Hugo Chavez. Our job is to protect the vision.

I just had a thought... If we plant a church and it grows big and is the envy of every church planter around, but it's not what God had in mind then I have not been successful. The same could be said of whatever you do with your life. I want to be successful because I was obedient to what God has called me to do. Just a thought.

Anybody out there want to add their thoughts to this discussion? I'd love to hear from you.


At 8:51 AM, February 06, 2008 , Blogger Cliff Marshall said...

Jonathan - thanks for sharing that thought. This is something I need to be reminded of every week!


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