Saturday, December 6, 2008

More of The Runaway Pastor: Part Three--Parable of the Gym

Well, here it is, Part 3 of Trent's Parable of the Gym. This part of Trent's journal entry may be a bit more controversial. That is not the goal. However, his thoughts are shared by more and more leaders in the church.

A friend sent me the link to the article below. It is from Pastor Walt Kalstead of Phoenix, AZ. Walt pastors a mega church there, and I challenge you to read how his heart is being changed in this article entitled "Showtime." Please check it out! What he says is more important than what I write here.

I've had a handful of opportunities to interview at churches pushing a thousand in attendance during my ministry. It has been a long time, however, since I've had any interest in such churches. I am not saying larger churches are not viable, I am saying two things. First, I'm not a capable enough CEO to do such ministry. And second, a church needing a CEO doesn't interest me.

Well, anyway, click the above link to the third of five parts of Trent's Parable of the Gym. Please comment after reading. Your emails are nice, but the conversation we could have here with your insights will be more stimulating.

Grace and peace to you.


Tim Kellerman said...

Part Three is good and right where I am living -- or maybe trying to move away from. Im not sure. Its interesting because I am in the process of giving leadership to a potential building program. I am having trouble with my options: Join the other church relocaters on 15 acres at the edge of town. However, that financial strain could minimize ministry as we investment in a building only. OR stay on our current 4 acres, build what we need to remain effective, be creative with our limited space, but have more money to do ministry.

Except, the new megaplexes on the edge of town are growing like crazy and I would hate to miss out on that. The human strategy is to relocate, give our kids a legacy for when they are in charge. My question is, what will they have to be in charge of?

I am not happy with what I am seeing in me lately -- pride and all. I have asked God to check me. I wasn't prepared. What He is having me die out to is the processes and systems and programs of which I have been held accountable for the last 25 years. I am sure I will continue to do those things because I have to and I respect the requirement to do so. However, I feel like for 25 years I have placed more emphasis on those things then the things in which God might be trying to interest me. Sometimes I feel I have been living in a template rather than being the temple through which God does unique and wonderful things that defy the ordinary.

Of course, no one is to blame for any of this but myself. I respect and love my church and always will. I think I am finally allowing the Holy Spirit to reposition my for a new day and a new way.

Zee said...

what i'm gonna say is my opinion and i don't mind anyone disagreeing with me. i think those humongous Churches we've got growing right now are for people who want to get either lost or really famed. while there are people who genuinely seek what God's will is, the personal touch is lost. and for me, it's the personal touch, the relationships between the family members is what matters. IMHO, it's better to have a lot of smaller Churches than one huge one. they can even be of the same denomination (since denominations are not gonna count in heaven anyways, why bother?), but small groups of people are still more effective. *shrug*

heh... a Church needing a CEO sounds odd... there's one CEO for Christians, and it ain't the pastor.

regarding the parable: it's funny (funny-interesting, not funny-haha) how quickly Tammy forgot that she had the same problems as those "disgusting flabby people"; she forgot the initial awkwardness she probably felt when she realized that she needed a serious change; she forgot the pain and efforts of the first couple of years when the memories of the flesh long gone haunting her...

and the competition among Churches? dang... makes me want to weep because if people are trying to get the quantity instead of quality in the area of saving souls and helping others... and frankly speaking, that is what is happening in our district right now. although the competition is internal (only among Naz), it's still sick... "we got that many new members this year" vs "but we had more programs for homeless people this year"... yes, they ARE helping people and God IS using them, but helping for the sake of numbers isn't the same as helping for the sake of helping.

anyway. sorry. it's a touchy issue for me.

Rich Schmidt said...

I just learned this afternoon that the building our church was hoping to lease and purchase and renovate so that we could finally move out of the Sunday-morning-only banquet hall is way out of our reach. While we might be able to manage the monthly costs, the initial build-out costs are way, way beyond us.

I have a board meeting tomorrow (well, later today, I suppose) in which the board will learn this, too. It's going to be a real downer for our congregation. But there's no way we would want to force something and stretch ourselves financially to the point where every last dollar is going into the facilities. Either we're going to find another option that's more appropriate to our size & finances, or we're going to get re-energized for nomadic, outside-the-walls ministry to our community.

*sigh* :)

Having said that, we already see that many/most of our visitors are coming from existing churches. Our hope was that having a facility would actually make it easier to reach some of those non-church-going folks!

Zee said...

to Rich Schmidt: read your comment and a quote popped into my mind that i've read yesterday (it's written on a keychain key)... "God never opens one door without opening another." my life's been not that long, but i've seen Him use situations that seemed odd and almost hopeless. the only bad thing is - most of the times we can see His work only when we look back in time, at our past. the good thing is - He's forever faithful. i hope it works out well with your Church's place.

Rich Schmidt said...

Thanks, Zee. I'm not really worried about it. And the board meeting went well. They don't think the congregation will be overly disappointed if we aren't able to get into this particular building. It's still a remote possibility, if everything lines up just right, but the odds are that we'll be watching and waiting for a different building opportunity.

Oh, and is the saying you're looking for, "God never closes a door without opening a window"? :)

Zee said...

well, that's another saying. but the one on my keychain is "God never closes one door without opening another" (since it's written on a key, they probably tweaked the phrase to fit - you don't exactly need a key to open a window:)