Church Leaders Thoughts on Ministry

JD Greer, the pastor of Summit Church, had some interesting insights on his blog today from Mark Driscoll, Greg Surratt, and Larry Osborne that were very insightful.  Enjoy!

Continued from yesterday. (I got to spend the last 3 days in a small group with 3 great church leaders–Mark Driscoll, Greg Surratt [of Seacoast Church and one of the multi-site pioneers] and Larry Osborne [an ex-hippie of the Jesus movement, now pastor of 8000 attender North Coast Church of San Diego and truly one of the most insightful thinkers I’ve ever been around]. My time with them left me swimming with new ideas about innovation in ministry.

  • The American idea to “achieve your potential” is a tyrannical goddess. It tells us that whatever we are doing is not good enough, because we have “more potential.” We should be living higher with more power. Potential is not a biblical concept, but an American one. “Calling” is the biblical concept, and often “calling” is simply taking the form of a servant (Phil 2:6-11Open Link in New Window) and not achieving your potential. 
  • Most pastors turn ministry into a functional savior. When the ministry is going well, they feel closer to God; when it is going poorly, they feel farther away from God.
  • To pastors who say: “I don’t count people.” Do you count money? Is money more important to you than someone’s soul? 
  • In a rapidly multiplying church, we often have to settle for “good enough” rather than perfect. While we realize that we should do all things excellently to the glory of God, excellence can become an inhibiter to real ministry when it monopolizes our resources and keeps them from doing things that would increase our capacity to multiply. As we learn on the mission field, reproducibility is a crucial dimension of church planting. 
  • The pastoral office includes “prophet, priest and king.” Kings are leaders. Prophets are guys who think about what the Bible says and it burns inside them to tell others. Priests care about people.” Whichever you’re not the strongest on, hire someone to do. (Mark Driscoll). (p.s. He asked me what each of us was… he then looked at me and said, “I know what you are. You’re freakin’ ‘open the Bible and yell at everyone’ guy.” Exact quote. He meant this as a compliment.) 
  • Larry Osborne to me: “I’ve been at North Coast (a congregation of about 8000) for 28 years. The thing I am most grateful for is EVERY child of staff member has grown up to follow Jesus.” He went on to explain to me some things he’s learned about that. Of particular interest was his statement that one of the most important lessons to learn was that exuberance in the faith in the parent often works against the kid. What he meant was that often the ministry parent wanted their kid to feel the passion that they did for Jesus, evangelism, etc, and they often forced the child into situations hoping that would grow. Instead, it embarrassed the child and turned them off. The passions of the heart for Jesus must develop ‘naturally,’ by faith, and not be imposed from outside on the child. We expect our kids to grow up too quickly.”
  • In Seattle we have a “Canadian arsonist nudist colony.’ I’m going to go ahead and tell you, unless they repent, they’re going to hell, but what a fun way to go. Getting naked and burning stuff down.” (Mark Driscoll) To note: comments such as this one do not reflect the opinions of or its affiliates. Opinions are solely those of the ones being quoted).