Trees Walking?

After over 30-years of pastoring I have found it increasingly difficult to hear anything new, or for the most part even encouraging about church life as we know it. Leadership Summits, Leadership Training, yada, yada, yada. Most of the time it’s simply this: If yours was big like the guy’s church who’s speaking, you wouldn’t need this conference, you’d be teaching it. It’s kind of a sanctified penis envy deal. Hope I didn’t offend too many with that, but I hope you get my gist. We say it doesn’t matter, but it does. Our words may say one thing but before it’s all over our actions and follow-up has said another. Big is better. Small is, well…small. Of course small is subjective. So, everyone is small to someone, so that should encourage many of the less than self-assured pastors around.

I did experience something different this past week. The speaker spent the first few hours talking to us about our call. It was refreshing, stimulating, convicting, rebuking, but most of all affirming. If you read a lot, like me, you’ll read some so-called hot books on church that all but relegate pastors to the anti-Christ; outdated, irrelevant, etc., don’t get me started. One popular statistician (what’s he doing writing a book on church leadership??) and co-authored by a guy who hates the organized church (now there’s a reliable source!) says pastors can do good, but for the most part hinder more than help what Christ intended for his church. Excuse me, but I don’t think you know the majority of sincere pastors.

This past week I was privileged to spend a couple of days with pastors who love the church, have given their lives for it, and despite such vitriol from self-proclaimed experts, continue to serve selflessly.

My question is, is it true? Do you guys out there in church-land really abhor the local pastor this much? If so, why? I truly would like to know. I have read that all they care about is controlling the church. What defines controlling versus protecting, and being responsible for? Who has the wisdom to discern a person’s heart, intentions, and commitment adequately enough to discount the integrity and fruit of pastors who have worked so hard at caring for the church? How do you pick your “professional judges”?

Jesus prayed for a man once to be healed, and in the process (yes, sometimes healing is a process) he said he saw men as trees walking. I wonder if our “professional judges” don’t need to continue the process a little longer, until they too can see clearly once againl. Those aren’t trees you’re cutting down…

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