Sunday, January 20, 2008
Dear Future Pastor
Future Pastor, please go ahead and leave the Church As We Know It and set out toward what you deeply envision. Unless of course you are one of those who are being convinced that you should stick around and try to bring change from within. You’ve probably been encouraged by someone who tells you “we really need people like you to bring a fresh perspective.” But even if you have good ideas, what are the chances of them really getting implemented? You are probably a likeable person. What they are really saying is that they just don’t want you to leave. You have to do what you think is best, but I’m so glad I have left The Church As We Know It in search of the Future Church. Some have told me I have been missed, and I appreciate the sentiments. But I can’t look back and see any kind of sweeping change that my influence instigated. I got tired of being faithful to what exists. I needed a fresh start. Which could be what you need, too. How long have you been feeling this way? If it’s more than 2 years, I would say you’ve got to leave and embark on the journey to find the Future Church. I’ve known guys who give me the line that they want to stick around to help change the course of the ship, but the real reason they can’t leave is that they are just plain scared. They are afraid of what people might think, afraid that leaving might be burning a bridge of opportunity in the future, but especially they are afraid they think they can’t make that kind of financial risk. If yours is the last excuse, do you really want to be strapped to a way of doing ministry because it’s the only way you can earn a paycheck? Trust me; you don’t want to live with that kind of regret. Future Pastor, I can write to you this way because I know you well. I know what makes you tick, and status quo is not on the list. I would not say these things to just any Joe Schmoe. He wouldn’t get it. Others can stay where they are. The current way of doing church is just fine for them, and I am not being judgmental when I say this. But you are not one of them. For you to stay would make about as much sense as one of them trying to be you. You belong to the Future. You are the Future. Don’t miss out on the joy of what lies ahead for you. And for many others because of you.