Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lost


I like the programme lost, I am currently watching series 2 on DVD.

The word lost is an interesting one, I heard Brian Mclaren say once that it's probably Christians who are lost. Using the analogy that if you have a message to give to someone and it never gets there, its lost.

Lost: I have lost my way on occasions, physically and spiritualy.

Actually my last post is really about leaders who are lost.

A number of good quality leaders are lost to churches that they maintain and get stuck with, they spend their days in offices surfing the net, studying for Sundays sermon, having pastoral meetings, trying to sort out the youth work, etc.. During this time stagnation creeps in were once they felt passion and had a sense of direction they now feel lost. This feeling of lostness causes them to find outlets; properties, business ventures, affairs, book writing, conference speaking, and a load of other challenges, these suddenly become a lot more appealing than maintaining church.

Frustration has led to distraction, distraction has led to new action. There is a perception that grows within the leader that says "the only place that new action can be found is outside of everyday church leading life." This is not actually true but believe me it exists within the minds of leaders, hidden, buried, but there.

By the way if your church leader has new initiatives and ministry ideas every few weeks, he is also lost and probably has to much time on his hands to read books and go to new conferences. If he says he keeps having new ideas because he is a visionary he's lying, he's bored and he's kidding himself.

Does financial stability hold people back from stepping out into new ventures? They call it diversifying or something like that, basically church leaders want the new ventures whilst having the financial benefits of leading a church, so they try and do both. Justifying one at the expense of the other.

What if say 50 of the guys who are leading comfortable churches in the UK, guys who once pioneered church, gave it up and moved to, say, mainland Europe to start new expressions of church. Do you think they would be okay? Do you think the churches they left behind would be okay?

You see no ones indispensible, maybe they have forgot that the church is bigger than any one man or woman. Maybe they have been doing the same thing so long that they are trapped, tangled up in and ensnared by church leadership. They feel a sense of obligation and duty to their "flock" which holds them back from stepping out into any new life giving venture. They need to remember its not their flock.

Maybe it needs to happen. LOST LEADERS rediscovering a LOST WORLD and pioneering new ways of connecting with and influencing it.

4 comments:

Learning Circle "friend" (I thought) said...

Or maybe they're obeying God . . . Some of these leaders would give up tomorrow and do something more rewarding (in every way) but God has asked them to stay where they are as He hasn't got anyone better at the moment. Why do you begrudge them adding some extra stimulation and challenge to their lives and earning some extra cash? If the churches they lead are doing OK and the people thye're accountable to know what they're doing, why should it be a problem?
You're sounding bitter and twisted Brian and not a little self-righteous.

dave wiggins said...

oooooooooh

Brian Heasley said...

Yesterday was a clumsy attempt to air some thoughts. I’m sorry for being self- righteous, please forgive me.

I have great friends who use their investments to free them up to give more to the church, others who use their investments to actually give them an opportunity to connect with the lost and others who have been very badly paid by the church over the years, have no retirement plan and need to think creatively about ways to create income to sustain their future. All of which is fantastic.

Self-righteousness is definitely a weakness of mine, thanks for pointing it out, once again sorry.

Hans P Kendall said...

Do you really think that God keeps people in a place just because he doesn't have anyone better?!?

That seems either like your looking down or that God couldn't provide the person who he wants.

I think if I understand Brian correctly that he's really just saying that it's good to push yourself. It's not that anything is wrong with being in a leadership position in a regular church or even to make a great salary out of it. But God wants what is best for us, and for us to feel fulfilled and excited by what he can do with our lives. Surely if we end up staying doing the same thing for years just because no one else is around to do it, then we are holding ourselves back from what God potentially has for us.

That is certainly true to my own life. I was held back for a while in a regular church position and the thought of who would take over from me if I moved on did worry me. And since moving on it has actually been very hard, but also very fulfilling.

Anyway, my point is, let's hear Brians heart on this. I don't he acutally literally thinks 50 UK leaders should move away and start churches in other countries. I think it's more that it's so easy to end up only knowing 99% Christians and living life in a Christian bubble without even realising it. If we could put into pracitse just a small percentage of what we talk about the world would be a different place.