Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Who do you follow?

Those of you on Twitter know that on the left side is a list of 3-4 people you can consider following.  A few minutes ago I happened to look at that list and saw some names there of people I definitely don't want to follow, not even on Twitter.  It then struck me that some of us might be following people on various social media or in real life that will not take us where we need to go.  It's even possible that we have allowed people to mentor us who have not provided us with the tools we need to be effective in life or ministry.

Young people are often susceptible to idol-worship but so are adults, including ministers.  I once heard a denominational leader laughing at the number of pastors in his district who believed that if they could channel Rick Warren they could pastor the next mega-church.  The executive said that somehow Hawaiian shirts and shoes with no socks just didn't seem to fit Kentucky.  Even pastors who don't take things that far can get caught up in trying to copy the things the "more successful" pastors do.  They might attend every Willow Creek and Saddleback conference offered.  They buy the books, the DVDs, and go home to implement what they've learned only to find out a lot of it simply doesn't work where they live.

Do not misunderstand me.  There is nothing wrong with attending conferences and buying resources.  In fact, I hope you attend my conferences and buy all my books!  But, I don't want you trying to copy me or anyone else.  God created you to be you, and he has placed you in a church that probably doesn't look anything at all like Saddleback, Willow Creek, or even the small, rural church I pastored.  He created you with unique ministry gifts and placed you in a position where you can use those gifts.  Gather all the resources and helps you can, but do not try to be anyone but you.  Learn everything you can and then adapt those learnings to whom God created you to be and the ministry He has given you. 

If you follow me I can assure you there will come a time when I will disappoint you.  The same can be said of any other Christian leader.  That is why the Scriptures challenge us to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ because He is the one who will never disappoint.  He will never give us bad advice nor will He ever lead us to a place where we will cause harm or be harmed.  With our eyes fixed on Him we can lead our church with confidence believing He will take us where we need to go.

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