Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Identity Part II

So, to further my thoughts on identity let me say this. Success or failure should not determine ones identity. Joseph is a great example. He could have easily (or maybe he did) feel like a failure. I'm sure nobody would have asked him to speak or write a book, I'm sure his blog hits would have been low to none. But, in the midst of all this, he somehow was able to be faithful. I'm sure he had no clue that one day he would be exalted to the 2nd highest government position in the kingdom. But, what about folks like TD Jakes or Erwin Mcmanus, who both pastored small churches for YEARS while no one noticed. They were faithful to the call of God, just like Jospeh. So, it seems like God has elevated them to have a new platform, and more influence. But, here lies the problem, everyone tends to want to be the next TD Jakes, or Erwin Mcmanus. Sometimes I've fallen into this trap. The leader in me says if I do the right things, then I know I can build a church. For instance...If I hire the right staff, have a good marketing plan, create the right ambiance and have a terrific "wow" experience then the church will grow. So, my identity becomes so wrapped up in trying to learn how to MANufacture a move of God. I should have spent more time seeking God, reading the Bible more then the latest "leadership" book and being faithful to the small things. Now, I'm not saying that leadership books are bad, or a good plan is futile (in fact I think they are essential)...What I am saying is this, maybe we spend way to much time trying to figure out how to create a movement instead of seeking the ONE who will create the movement anyhow? Therefore, our identity gets so wrapped up into creating this movement/church that we really lose focus on our priorities. And if things don't work out the leader is left crushed and wounded...Is that God's will? Sure I'm disappointed that Sacred did not work out...And yes I do know their were some fatal flaws in our structure and culture...But, I'm not going to allow that to crush me, or I'm not going to lose confidence in myself; my identity is not wrapped up into a church or the success of the church, my identity is in Christ. And that is a good thing. Why do I blog about all this? Because I have fellow pastors who email me to ask questions, like how we closed the church down, when did you know it was time and how did you deal with the stress along the way? And, on top of that pressure, these pastors have to look for a new source of income, (trust me, nobody will help once the church in closed, you are on your own at this point) they may even have to find a new community and they could also be shunned by their leaders or denominations because they did not do what was hoped for, resources were lost and certain numbers were not achieved . Not to mention that their family can be in total disarray or other staff members are left to question and ponder their future. OK, enough for now...But, I may do part three tomorrow. Peace & Love. And no matter if you succeeded or failed, you are still loved by God.


Chad K Miller said...

Great thoughts Chris. I enjoyed this!

Head Guy said...

Hey Chris, Ken pointed me here and I have read both the posts dealing with this question of Identity. I hear in your words a seeker looking for answers that will help him be a better servant leader. Keep seeking! I agree that outward success is man's measure. When we fall to man's measurement, we also fall to satan's lie. Let God approve of your faithfulness, after all it is His opinion of us that really matters.