Leading or Acquiescing?

Francis Chan said…

God calls us to give people what they need. Based on His word, regardless of whether they stick around. Jesus led. Few followed, but He kept leading.
 Last summer, I came to a shocking realization that I had to share with my wife: If Jesus had a church in Simi Valley, mine would be bigger. People would leave His church to attend mine because I call for an easier commitment. I know better how to cater to people’s desires so they stick around. Jesus was never really good at that. He was the one who said, “He who loves father or mother…son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. 10:37 NIV).  I’m much more popular than Jesus.”

Jesus never allowed anyone to deter him from the vision God had given him – even if it meant ocassionally “thinning the herd”.

Here are some facts:

1)  God gives the vision for a church to its pastor.

2)  Often, church people want their vision for the church followed rather than God’s vision.

3)  A pastor/leader has to decide whose vision he will follow – and therein lies the rub.

It’s a difficult thing for a pastor to stick with the vision he feels God gave him.  Sometimes that vision seems beyond reach or impossible.  Sometimes the people who follow don’t like the vision.  Sometimes the vision gets drowned out in administrative or other issues that seem urgent at the time.  And worse, sometimes a pastor will forsake that vision to accommodate the people who “don’t get it” – so he can keep his crowd.

It goes without saying that when it comes to the American church, well, it’s pretty consumer oriented.  If you don’t give people what they want, they’ll go somewhere else to find it.  And when you’re in the buckle of the Bible belt, with churches on every street corner, it’s easy for your congregants to be “led” to another church – that just so happens to meet their consumeristic wants and desires.

The temptation is for a pastor to shelve his vision and acquiesce to the consumeristic demands of people to maintain his crowd / attendance.

I was simply encouraged by Francis Chan’s observation and reminder that…

Jesus led – few followed.

Pastors need to follow their God-given vision (warning:  make sure it was given to you by God) and leave the size of the crowd up to God.  Some will like it; some won’t.  God only us asks to be faithful to the calling and vision he has given us and leave the results up to him.

That takes the pressure off.

~ by jackpickel on June 19, 2012.

One Response to “Leading or Acquiescing?”

  1. Wow, Jack! This is really, really good! I applies to pastors but to us “regular-folk” as well. We are called to be truth-tellers, not people-pleasers. How often to we sacrifice speaking the truth in love in favor of saying what people want to hear?

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