When a leader stops taking risks because there is too much to lose…he is closer to losing everything than he actually realizes. We don’t follow a Savior who played it safe, if He said “take up your cross and follow me” then we need to understand that sacrifice and risk WILL be involved if we want to go where He is leading. -Perry Noble
I love this quote! I think it’s hits pastors right between the eyes. The strength of the pastoral heart is that we LOVE our churches. It’s birthed in us from the very core of our being. The problem that we’ve seen is that pastors often unintentionally love their church more than it’s mission and hold onto their church like a fragile egg instead of a solid hammer. When Mark and I became lead pastors we determined that our mission – Leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus – was more important than anything else. Our church was a living, breathing, thinking tool to not only introduce people to Christ, but then disciple people in the mandates of the Bible. Losing our title, losing the position, losing the corporation that we call our church… whatever it was didn’t matter if we held true to our mission. After all, North Creek is just a very small picture of the bigger plan of God called CHURCH. If we were on mission, we need not be afraid of risking our church’s future. It’s an oxymoron of sorts.
With that focus, it creates two things:
1. Peace to make hard decisions. If we lived with a fear that we’d lose everything by making the wrong decision, we simply wouldn’t make decisions. We would be frozen by our own passion, which is a very perplexing situation. We would very quickly become obsolete to the mission of God because we were too afraid to risk the very thing he had entrusted us to use to change the world.
2. Amazing enjoyment while it lasts. During one of our conferences for church planting, someone said to put an end date on your church. What if you HAD to shut down on Dec. 8, 2015? How hard would you work to accomplish what you need to accomplish if you had a time limit? What petty arguments would you forgo if you knew your time was ticking? If you lived with a stopwatch in the back of your head, risk would be much easier. We feel great freedom to love North Creek while it’s here to love. At this point, it is very likely will never see the demise of this church in our lifetime, but we haven’t always been able to say that!
The moral of the story is to hold loosely to the details and hold tightly to the big picture. What is the over-arching thing that God wants from your life? It’s probably not the concrete day to day objective that you work towards, but rather a much broader view with an eternal perspective. Love what you are doing, but not more than you love who you are doing it for!