You Can Make Time!

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 3

Make Time

Today, we are talking about time.  Stephen Miller Band wrote,

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

I’ve found no more appropriate way to think about how I have utilized social media in the past.

I like schedules and I calendar almost everything.  I know what’s happening and when.  The old adage, if you aren’t 5 minutes early than you’re late, is something I’ve taken to heart and amplified a bit (much to my wife’s chagrin): if you aren’t 30 minutes early than you’re late.  I’m very organized when it comes to my time.  I’ve written on it here, here, here, and here.  I don’t like my time wasted.

However, I continually let social media waste my time.  One of the biggest discoveries I had after I started the social media fast was how much time I had spent looking at social media.  I found my thumb going to the place on my phone where the Facebook App had been countless times a day.  It was subconscious.  If my thumb is drifting to this nebulous spot on my phone then how much time would I have spent mindlessly scrolling?

Make Time

We all have exactly the same amount of time in a given day.

  • 24 Hours
  • 1,440 Minutes
  • 86,400 Seconds

If you find yourself lacking in time, here’s an idea: Take a Social Media Break.  I promise it will be productive and that  it will be good for you.  I promise you will have more time.

Remember social media isn’t bad.  As I shared in my first post, social media is a tool.  It SHOULD be utilized, but tools yield to their master’s desires.  Use social media, don’t be used by it.  This idea will be the subject of my next post about my social media fast.

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 2

Part 2 - People Freaked Out

social media

On September 24th I posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (which I don’t use much, I know I’m terrible), and LinkedIn that:

Allison Crandall and I are signing off of Facebook/Messenger/Social Media for a while. If you need me you an email me at jason@cityviewpearland.com

Allie gave me the business because, “who cares if you’re off social media.”  She likes to give me the business (I like it too).

I remember telling her, “I know, people won’t care, but sometimes people ask me questions, etc and it’s kind of like an out of the office email letting people know I’m off and how to contact me if they need something.”  I’m a pastor and I utilize social media a lot.

Freak Out

We were both wrong, people cared, they really cared.  People freaked out.  I don’t have a large following on social media, a few hundred followers on Twitter and a couple thousand friends on Facebook.  I don’t know how to check Instagram followers (I know I’m terrible).

Within minutes of my signing off social media, I got 27 text messages, 5 phone calls, and a few emails.  The questions and comments continued for the next week.  They were:

  • Why?
  • Is something wrong?  Are you guys okay?
  • I want to see the boys.  Have someone else post pictures.
  • What about Penny?
  • How are we going to hear about Penny?
  • What’s Penny doing?

(Penny is our dog.  She’s a corgi.  She’s a puppy and… terrible, but we love her. She has her own Instagram, which I’d post here, but you know… I’m terrible and don’t know what it is exactly).

My favorite question was from a very serious, but paranoid friend: “are you afraid the government and Illuminati are watching you?”  I sent a text jokingly back, “aren’t they the same thing?”

The Social Media Social Contract

I’m nobody special.  I didn’t understand why there was such a reaction to my signing off of social media.  As I reflected though, I think it has something to do with the way that we connect and feel connected.  I think, due to social media, we are okay with feeling more physically/spatially/relationally disconnected from others.  After all we don’t need to actually keep up with people because we can always pop on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and see what’s happening in their world.

That’s not an indictment.  I enjoyed getting back on Facebook and seeing my cousin’s kids, my brother’s dog, my friend’s accomplishments, etc.  Social Media has made it possible to keep up without keeping up. It’s like there is kind of a new social media social contract that says this is okay.  People liked keeping up with me from afar.  I didn’t know how much the posts of our boys, our thoughts, funny quips, Bible verses, and Corgi pics meant to others.  It was only after signing off of social media though that I knew we mattered like that to others.

It got me thinking that maybe I should contact personally (via text, phone call, invite over, get coffee with, etc) those people who I enjoy seeing on social media.  I should spend time checking in with them outside the Twittersphere and Facebook universe.

My reflection today is don’t let the social media social contract be the only social contract you have with people.

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 1

Part 1 - Tools not Crutches

At the end of September my wife and I took a break from social media.  We had a lot of reasons (which I’ll talk about a little over the next few posts), but more than anything we just needed a detox.  I was beginning more and more to find this post from Urban Dictionary far too true in my own life.

Social Media can be best described as:

Facebook – I like doughnuts

Twitter – I’m eating #doughnuts

Instagram – Here is a Polaroid-esce photo of doughnuts

Foursquare – This is where I eat doughnuts

YouTube – Here I am eating doughnuts

Myspace – Meet the Up-and-coming band, ‘doughnuts’

Linkedin – My skills include doughnut eating

Pinterest – Here is a recipe for doughnuts

We plugged back in a couple days ago and I thought I’d share a little bit about what I noticed as I took an intentional break from the cultural phenomena known as Social Media.

First Thought: Social Media is a Tool not a Crutch

I don’t think social media is bad or evil or even a giant waste of time (on its own).  I think it’s a tool to be used.  Any tool that’s overused or improperly utilized can cause problems. Those tools can even destroy.  During my break I noticed how I had stopped using social media as a tool and started using it as a crutch for social interaction.  Crutches are great tools when a lower extremity is broken or hurt, but when nothing is broken and you’re using one… then there is a problem.  I am blessed to have a lot of opportunity for social interaction.  I don’t need social media to be the only place where it’s happening or even one of the main places where it’s happening.

Book Recommendation: The Imperfect Disciple

Imperfect Disciple

Wilson, Jared C.. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together. Baker Publishing Group.

 

This year I’m reading (or listening to) a lot of books.  I’m going to share about the ones I find truly helpful and beneficial.  Some of these books will be church planting, some christian living, some will even be…. gasp… secular business/productivity/organizational type books.  None of them will be fiction… I know I’m a wretch (but grace is amazing, right?).  I just prefer to watch my fiction (i.e. movies) then read it (it’s more efficient).  All of the fiction lovers out there either cursed me just now or started to pray for me.  That’s fine. This is my blog.

 

The first book I am recommending this year is The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together by Jared Wilson.

 

4 Reasons Why I Read and Enjoyed The Imperfect Disciple

1) I’m always weary of “how to” Christian Living books.

Wilson’s title captured me though, I’m an imperfect disciple.  Sometimes (rarely) I have a semblance of getting it together… other times not so much. I love this statement:

“I want to write a discipleship book for normal people, for people like me who know that discipleship means following Jesus—and we know that following Jesus is totally worth it, because Jesus is the end-all, be-all—but we often find that following Jesus takes us to some pretty difficult places.”

I’m normal.  Jesus is everything to me.  The more I’ve grown as a follower of Jesus the more I’ve seen the messiness of my own soul and been exposed to the messiness of others.  The real Jesus meets these real issues in others and me.  That’s a thing I believe.  That’s a thing that Wilson highlights and I deeply appreciate.

2) Beholding is more important than Behaving

He hits something on the head for me while explaining why we don’t try to behold Jesus (something I know I should do, but frankly struggle to do).  He says, “The very fact we consider something familiar sort of stifles any impulse to study it.”  I’ve found this to be true in my devotions lately.  I know the gospel.  I’ve studied it and heard it for most of my life.  The gospel is a thing I talk about all the time and Jesus is a person I talk about all the time.  You know what though, I’m ashamed to admit this, I fall into a pattern of just doing the right thing (behaving) and not looking at Jesus deeply (beholding).

I like how Wilson makes this point early in the book.  He makes it before he gets to chapters that emphasize more common spiritual disciplines like Bible reading or prayer.

3) Spiritual Disciplines are Important

Maybe it is just me, but in the current Christian climate it seems that spiritual disciplines have become almost looked down upon.  Like reading the bible, praying, and attending a local church have become that thing that old people do/did.  I think part of the reason it feels like that is because earlier generations pounded those disciplines so hard that it sounded like doing that stuff was all it took to be close to God.  It felt like they were leaving grace out of the picture.  (I don’t think this is what was actually happening, but it’s what it seemed and felt like).  I like the way Wilson reframes the disciplines:

  • Rhythm of Listening – Study Your Bible
  • Rhythm of Spilling Your Guts – Pray
  • Revolution Will Not Be Instagrammed – Go to church

4) I LOVE Grace

Grace is my favorite thing. Getting what I don’t deserve in God through Jesus.  I LOVE it.  I love how grace is constantly and consistently pounded on throughout the book as the power behind discipleship.  Wilson loves grace, he wrote a whole chapter on it and talks about it throughout.  I need to see that being produces doing.  I need it demonstrated to me.  Wilson does that.

Recommendation:

My wife and I frequently lament the lack of reading in our culture. People don’t pick up books.  They consume Netflix (guilty), Hulu (guilty), Sports Radio (guilty), and gobs of other entertainment.  They just don’t read and consider deep thoughts very much.  I’m hoping that doing these reviews will inspire some to read more.  So I’m going to do a recommendation system I’m calling READ IT.  I feel like most books should be read (I wrote one, you should READ IT).  The more capital letters in the the phrase READ IT the more I recommend the book.

I give Wilson’s book a full READ IT

I think you should.  You can get it on Amazon here.

Do Yourself A Favor: Get OmniFocus 2

My Favorite Task Manager

OmniFocus 2

 

Get OmniFocus 2

Small business owners, pastors, church planters, entrepreneurs, ministry professionals, and anyone who has a lot of freedom in their work needs something to help them stay on task.  OmniFocus 2 is my tool.

If you want to make sure you don’t drop the ball on tasks then please, do yourself a favor… get Omnifocus 2.  I love it.

There are a lot of task managers out there.  This one is highly adaptable to the way that you track your tasks.  I am goal oriented and it helps me track goals through the powerful folders feature.  Within the folder you can setup incremental projects that lead to the accomplishment of the goal.  Inside of those projects you can place your tasks that lead to the accomplishment of the goal.

I don’t recommend products unless I use them.  I literally use this app EVERY DAY.

  • Integrates with Calendars seamlessly.
  • I have it on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
  • Contexts, I use this as a “hats I wear” feature.  It helps me keep things straight as a Husband/Father, Pastor, Network Leader, Business Owner, and Individual.
  • Send tasks directly from email to your task manager.
  • Attach important reference material.
  • The Review Perspective is something I do every Monday as I setup my schedule for the week.
There are lots of people who have done free essential training for OmniFocus 2 online.  Here’s a great resource: https://www.youtube.com/user/learnomnifocus
Let me know if you have questions.  I’d be happy to answer as best I can.

Before Attacking Problems: Pray – 3 Reasons Among Many

Pray First

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I wrote earlier this week on my Productive GRACE system.

  1. Get serious about the vision
  2. Required resources
  3. Author a plan
  4. Consistently execute the plan
  5. Effectively adapt to changes

This is the way that I attack problems in everyday life.  The system is scalable and works for long term goals and short term goals alike.  I’m following it up with a few posts that dive in more specifically.  However, there is a pre-step.  The pre-step is prayer.  Pray First!  Prayer is a great gift that believers in Jesus don’t fall on enough.  It almost seems silly to write a list of reasons why we should pray about problems, but I think sometimes we all need reminders and at the very least I need the reminder (and this is my blog).

3 Reasons to Pray First

 

1) We are commanded to pray

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4.6)

When we are anxious, which is what I am when a problem arises, we are told to pray.  I’ve often heard this verse summarized in this way, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything”.  Pray about the thing that is on your mind and heart.  A loving father wants to hear from his children and specifically about those things that are making their hearts worry.  Pray.

2) Prayer brings peace

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Talking to my loving Father who also is the Sovereign God of all creation brings peace.  This peace goes beyond our mental capacities to understand, but it is truly there.  The next time you are anxious about some problem or goal, pray about it.

3) Prayer puts things in perspective

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

When we pray about our anxious moments we are reminded that there is something greater than our worries or goals.  There is God’s Kingdom.  Those goals and worries shouldn’t be our first priority.  God’s Kingdom coming is the thing that matters most.  We need to capture perspective.

 

Next we’ll deal with what to do when there are problems.  However, before we talk about attacking problems why don’t you spend some significant time praying about those problems.  Let me point you to Philippians 4:4-7 and Matthew 6:25-34 for some further reading and study.

Productive Grace: 5 Steps To Attack Any Problem

Productive Grace

The grace that saves us also sanctifies us.  That grace also makes us productive.  Remember 1 Corinthians 15:10:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

Over the next several blog posts, I’m going to share my scalable system to frame up and attack any problem.  It is just as applicable to long range, multi-year goals as it is to attacking daily scheduling issues.

 

The Origin of My System

I became a Christian when I was 16, a week before my 17th birthday. I started a bible study at my high school. Through that I felt called into ministry.  I told my parents, they told me they disagreed. The next year, my senior year, we started the bible study again and saw 30 people cross the line of faith and connect to a church. I talked to my parents again about going to pursue a bible degree and they relented.  They said I had to go to Bob Jones University. I didn’t know anything about the school, but was just excited to go.

When I showed up on campus for freshman orientation I was given a student handbook, no big deal. Every place has rules. Then I got the dorm handbook.  I thought sure there are extra rules it’s a Christian school. Then I got a society handbook, then we got a sports handbook then we got a chapel rules sheet then another rule book for student government.

Then I learned that I was accountable for all the rules before classes started. That’s when demerits would start. I asked what demerits were. They explained the what happened.

  • 75 Demerits = Socialed.  Essentially, no contact with the opposite sex on campus.
  • 100 Demerits = Campused.  Students at this level weren’t allowed off campus except for church or approved ministry.
  • 150 Demerits = Expelled.  If you got to 150 demerits in a semester you were out.

 

Time to Get Serious

That’s when I got serious. I needed to get out, but needed the degree.  I figured my shelf life there may be 4 years but more likely I’d blow up by then. So one Friday night I sold out to the idea: I must graduate in 3 years. I sat down with the course books, an outdated idea today, and started looking and working.  I went through multiple iterations, but by bed time (yes that was a real thing) I’d worked it out.

I started in the fall of 1999 and in June of 2002 I graduated with a BA in Bible na double minor in Counseling and Computer Science without any debt. How?  I learned the importance of envisioning a goal and attacking it.  Since then I’ve developed a way to attack any problem.

 

The Productive GRACE system for problem solving and planning

The grace that saves us also sanctifies us.  That grace also makes us productive.  Remember 1 Corinthians 15:10:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

1) Get serious about the vision

  • Ask: What is the preferred reality?
  • Write out what it looks like.

2) Required resources 

  • Ask: What resources do I need to accomplish this vision.
  • Assemble the named resources.

3) Author a plan

  • Ask: What does this look like specifically.
  • Write down a specific plan.

4) Consistently execute the plan

  • Ask: What do I need to DO right now to make this plan move forward?
  • Keep asking this question repetitively.

5) Effectively adapt to changes

  • Ask: What are the changes that are taking place that could change my plan?
  • Things happen.  Change is going to be necessary along the way.

 

Over the next few posts I’m going to break down each of these pieces to look long range and also short term.  Check it out frequently.

Clarifying Some Criticism

My Response to the Review of Proliferate by 9Marks

 

9Marks

On June 20, 2017 my book, Proliferate, was reviewed by 9Marks in their journal on church planting.  You can read the review here.  I was honored to be reviewed by a ministry I hold in such high esteem.  I have frequently leaned on 9Marks as a source of God-honoring and gospel-focused resources.  Though I was grateful for the kind words they offered, I wanted to take the opportunity to respond to what I thought were some unfounded criticisms.

The thing with 9Marks is that sometimes they aren’t always the most practically-minded folks, which they admit freely. Ed Stetzer wrote a piece about it in the same journal, What 9Marks Purists Should Know About Church Planting.  It’s a great piece, and shows that 9Marks is aware of a few of their blindspots.

My response to John Joseph of 9Marks

The Background of Proliferate

 

The bulk of this book is a more reader-friendly version of the Doctor of Ministry Project that I presented at Southern Seminary in May of last year.  In that project, I shared our plan to multiply as a young church, and we were able to do so and do so effectively.  We were blessed to see God do amazing things through our small church plant as we multiplied by God’s leadership and for His glory. I was encouraged by professors and other ministry leaders to share both our story, and the practical steps we took to multiply effectively in a more reader-friendly, less academic piece.

The thought was that small churches needed to be involved in church multiplication. As many have observed, one of the reasons that churches die is because they are inwardly-focused. My prayer was to “awaken a mighty force in this world of churches that feel like they are irrelevant. And that maybe through the Holy Spirit’s help this book might encourage many Everyday Church pastors and leaders to equip their churches to proclaim the gospel through church planting and multiplication.”

 

The plan is for this book to be used as a practical piece for conventions, networks, and associations to encourage the small churches in their care to engage in church multiplication.  Emphasis on “practical.” It was not intended to be a theological treatise, but to address an  audience of network and denominational leaders, and small-church pastors and planters, and encourage them to find a way to be involved in the important work of church multiplication.

 

1)  Critique One: My Aim Wasn’t Met

In terms of the first critique offered — I will leave it to each reader of my book to decide for themselves whether my aim was satisfactorily accomplished.

2) Critique Two: Questionable Handling of Scripture

I do take strong issue with the second critique. I pointed this subject out earlier in chapter 3. At the end of the chapter I said,

“As all good, theologically conservative Bible interpreters will tell you, we shouldn’t build doctrine from Acts, much less from three verses. We can learn principles, however, that will help as we look to multiply our churches and efforts. These are key verses in the growth of the church, and they serve as the foundation for much of modern-day church planting.”(Kindle Location: 803)

Additionally, I wrote that my point wasn’t to encourage people to teach and preach the word faithfully, mentioning that as a brief aside in a more stream-of-consciousness moment. The main idea there was that they were using their gifts.

“The leaders that were mentioned are leaders with communication gifts. The leaders at Antioch possessed the gift of prophecy and the gift of teaching. They called out sin, taught the Scriptures, and called people to greater love for the gospel. They were seeing disciples made and multiplied.  These faithful prophets and teachers tilled the soil so that it was fertile so church multiplication sprouted.”  (Kindle Location: 1374)

I was not making an argument in this particular case to be faithful to the Word. My argument was that they were using their gifts, and in the faithful use of their gifts the soil for multiplication was readied.

3) Critique Three: Crandall’s Assumption

The final critique I believe to be a potential misunderstanding or perhaps a misreading. Mr. Joseph says, “Crandall clearly believes Everyday Churches can and should multiply rapidly.” However, I make the point repeatedly that not every church should multiply, but that every church should be involved in the work of multiplication. I said this clearly throughout the book. Here are a few examples:

“In this book I make the argument that all churches should be involved in church multiplication in some manner. This isn’t to say that all churches should be involved in multiplication in the same way, but they all need to be involved in the proliferation of gospel-centered churches both nationally and internationally.” (Kindle Location: 184)

“This book has a simple premise: every church, regardless of size, can be significant in the cause of gospel proclamation through church planting. Every church, regardless of size, should be involved in church proliferation. Let me be clear, not every church should be engaged in church proliferation in the same way, but every church needs to find its role in this effort.” (Kindle Location: 362)

“We all need to think about church multiplication but this doesn’t mean we multiply in the exact same ways. Some churches will be sending out plants consistently, year after year. Some churches should release (and fund) a young leader to plant a church in an area that is relatively nearby. Some churches should take serious percentages of their budget and use them toward multiplication rather than random building improvements. Some churches should do all of those things. Some churches should open their buildings up to different ethno-linguistic church plants. Some churches should consider closing their doors to give the keys of God’s property to a church moving forward and growing and seeking to plant more churches for the glory of God.” (Kindle Location: 794)

“The key to capturing your church’s vision for participating in multiplication is bound up in your particular church culture.” (Kindle Location: 1253)

“Not all churches are going to have a “going to the moon” vision for church planting, and that’s okay. If a church will do the hard work of assessing its culture and context though, then they are well on the way to capturing a vision for how they can be involved in church multiplication. Churches will begin to see what they are great at and where their weaknesses lie. They will begin to see the situation that they are in and what they can do about it. Thus, churches will have a clearer picture of what they can pass on to other churches that they aid in planting.”(Kindle Location: 1329)

 

I also disagree with the analogy that Mr. Joseph drew in the final paragraph of his weaknesses section in terms of a church being a body.  Young believers are considered babes, but I don’t see a local church ever called a baby church in scripture.  Our launch team for our pregnant church was made up of maturing believers who felt called to plant a disciple-making work in a new location.  The sending church, CityView Church Pearland, had elders at the helm making the decisions as we sent off the mission church.  We certainly still had our issues as a young church and we were not fully formed yet, but even then his analogy falters.  Further, the Antioch Church had not been formed for very long before they sent missionaries to plant churches and they only had Paul for a very short period of time before they sent off Paul and Barnabas (commentators vary in the amount of time before Acts 13’s sending event, between 12-24 months though is the typical agreed upon timeframe).

 

I never argue in the book that anyone else should plant pregnant.  Could other church plants find themselves in a situation where it might be possible? Yes. However, the book is not a mandate saying that all other church plants should do it.  That was something we as a church plant were convicted over, not something we have ever told other church plants they needed to be convicted of.  We have a vision for our church to plant 100 churches in 25 years.  This isn’t from our church specifically, but includes the churches that we plant.  We hope to have a movement of churches that are planting other churches.

If you’d like to read my book, Proliferate, A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches and see for yourself what you think you can get it at  Amazon (Paperback or Kindle) or Barnes & Noble (Paperback or Nook).

Remembering

A Call To Remember Why We Do What We Do

remembering

According to Jesus, the church at Ephesus had it all.

  • They worked hard.
  • They didn’t renounce the faith in the midst of harsh persecution.
  • They had an effective apologetics ministry.
  • They fought for the sake of the name of Jesus.

They didn’t give up. They kept going.  They persevered in the right things.

The modern American church has a lot in common with Ephesus.  We work hard.  We plan and administrate with precision.  When persecution presents itself at home and abroad, we respond in a powerful manner.  We know right from wrong, and can argue our points well and amicably, even.

Quitting? We are doing anything but.  Our efforts in missions and church planting throughout our world, country, state, and city are moving forward.  We are doing great things!

Why does Revelation 2:4 convict so deeply then, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”

 

That is a gut-wrenching thought.  We are doing the right things, but in the middle of doing the right things for God and others — maybe we’ve forgotten and abandoned the love we had at first for God and for others.

 

Perhaps our churches have forgotten the compassion shown to us by a nail-pierced Savior.  We’ve forgotten those spontaneous compassionate works, motivated by the Holy Spirit, that we did for others when we first believed.

 

I know we sing about this every week.  I know we talk about these things every week.  I know we show videos and read books and even pray about these things every week.  But when was the last time it brought you to tears?  When was the last time it was not a vision for our church that motivated our actions, but a heart’s vision of a risen Savior that compelled us to do something? Something that we weren’t intending to post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?

 

Let’s do the things that Jesus said to do in order to match our commended great works with rekindled love for Jesus and people.

 

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” (Revelation 2.5)

 

Prayer

Lord, forgive us for loving our programs, ministries, buildings, and visions for our churches more than you.  Forgive us for working hard, but forgetting the love we received at first, and gave to others at first.  May our love for you spark revival in our hearts, families, and churches.

 

Hello, I Am A Nobody

3 Thoughts On The Ministry Of Everyday Pastors

nobody

 

The first chapter in John’s Gospel records the story of Jesus calling a set of brothers to follow him. These brothers were fishermen.

  • One of them went on to be the spokesmen of the disciples.  The other didn’t.
  • One of these brothers was the first to confess that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God.  The other stood by while it happened.
  • One of these brothers went on to preach on the day of Pentecost and saw 3,000 people saved.  The other was also doing amazing things that day, just not preaching the big sermon.
  • One of these brothers went on to lead the church, write inspired Scripture, and have stories told of his martyrdom.  The other did miracles and made disciples faithfully.

Peter was the first brother. He’s frequently characterized as a bold, powerful, strong, and notable leader although a little rash and brash at times.  Peter is amazing.  So is his brother Andrew…  Andrews are important too.  Andrews are the everyday pastor who leads an everyday church and faithfully leads people to Jesus, disciples them, and cares for the church.  Andrews are nobodies and nobodies matter.

 

 

Nobodies Matter

 

1) The vast majority of churches are pastored by Andrews-Types

Most of the people in the world are under the ministry of Andrew-Type pastors.  Andrew-Types shepherd most of Jesus’ disciples.  Unassuming leaders who help to proclaim the Kingdom’s advance play a vital role in the growth of the church.  They are gifted.  They are equippers of the saints.  They don’t get asked to be on the big stages or TV or radio, but they are doing ministry.

 

 

2) The burden of celebrity destroys many faithful men

There are many famous pastors and Christian leaders who have continued to be faithful men of God.  I thank God for the men like Billy Graham, John Piper, Tony Evans, and David Jeremiah (and many others).  They are famous Peter-Types who live for Jesus and not for their own fame.  However, for every one of those guys there are 10 others who started out working hard for the fame of Jesus, their platform expanded, and somewhere along the line something switched and the power of their own celebrity began to control them.  I like what the political pundit, James Carville says, “When you become famous, being famous becomes your profession.” I think in many ways that is what has happened to celebrity pastors.

  • Sometimes this results in major falls from grace with men drifting into deep sin issues.
  • Sometimes their ministry continues and their platform expands, but they are worried about building their kingdom rather than Christ’s.

Faithfulness is a better aim than fame.

 

 

3) Contentment is key

I think a lot of the problem is that a lot of Andrew-types want to be Peter-types.  They haven’t made peace with the fact that they are special because they’ve been called by a King, not because they’ve been called to be a king.  Everyday Pastors matter.  We aren’t all Spurgeon or Billy Graham or Matt Chandler.  We are nobodies. There is nothing wrong with being nobodies.  Nobodies accomplish a lot for the Kingdom.  We have to deny ourselves.  We have to relinquish our fame desires for the sake of Christ’s fame.

 

This post is drawn from my book, Proliferate, A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches.  If you haven’t already you can pick it up from Amazon (Paperback or Kindle) or Barnes & Noble (Paperback or Nook).