Some of these thoughts about church have been prompted because I regularly attend church and care about it. But also because I’ve been working on a brochure about church planting, and in doing so I interviewed nine different church planters from across the country. Here’s a few of the things they said:
“I’m only 28, the youngest pastor in my district. The closest person to us is 50. … I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in 30 years when all the head pastors in our area turn over. We have a lot of giants in the faith, but who’s going to be those that step into those positions? … Which one of our generation will step into that with no pay? We’ve focused a lot on money and prosperity, who’s going to answer the call?” – B.J. Hart from Atlantic, Iowa
“I don’t dress up for church whatsoever. I stopped wearing a shirt and tie and became myself and the church started growing. … It’s not about me being the big kahuna. I’m just the small cheese. … You’ll lose a whole generation unless ministers are willing to stop hiding behind a false sense of holiness, a false sense of religious pride. I blow it every day, I mess up all the time. I’m so far from being perfect. But I love the Lord so much.” – B.J. Hart from Atlantic, Iowa
“Normally when people go to food drives it’s junk stuff. We buy turkey and stuffing, women make the pies, we get green beans, christmas candy, goodies — name brand. When you’re poor you always buy the cheap chips. Why would you want to be blessed with cheap chips? Buy the name brand. You can eat Oreos or you can eat Hydrox. We don’t want to do the least amount we can do, we want to do a litttle overboard so people feel completely overwhelmed.” – B.J. Hart from Atlantic, Iowa
OK, B.J. said all the great stuff. He was really excited and kept going for about 40 minutes. I asked maybe four questions in that time. The other pastors said good stuff, too, but B.J.’s thoughts seem to fit best here.
From talking to all the pastors, I felt an incredible sense of excitement. God is working. He’s planting new churches and doing amazing things. I don’t know how these pastors do it, they work extra jobs to make ends meet and pour their lives into their church. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if all Christians were as focused on serving God. Instead we’re distracted by things like career or family, and serving God often takes a backseat.
Certainly we can serve God in those things, and those things aren’t bad, it just seems like we settle down to our own family and our job and we lack a broader vision of what God can do.