Friday, April 29, 2022

Presence-Driven Pastors Tend, Not Run, the Garden

                                                                 (Redeemer Church building, Monroe, MI)

A Presence-Driven Church is a garden, not a factory. Gardens are tended. Factories are "run."

The garden soil is the hearts of the people.

God is the seed planter.

The people are taught to abide in Christ.

They bear much fruit.

Presence-Driven Pastors tend the fruit.

In the Christ-abiding connection, God sows dreams and visions, course correction and direction, into the hearts of the people.

The Presence-Driven Pastor is not threatened by this. They separate the good from the bad. They welcome and nurture good produce, like parents caring for a newborn baby. The Presence-Driven Pastor is an expectant parent who prays for the child to be born, prepares a room for it to flourish, and celebrates its arrival.

This is Real Church, a community where everyone (not just the pastor) gets to play. Everyone becomes part of the movement. Everyone is a leader. This is anti-top-down leadership.

As Scripture tells us,

When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

To allow this you must let go of control. Which is hard for an Entertainment-Driven Pastor to do. (Hard for many of us, right?) These pastors control the Studio Church. The many are not as talented or as beautiful or as camera-friendly as the few. So they run the garden, rather than tend it. The people become an audience of outsiders. The Entertainment-Driven Pastor of the Consumer Church has been seduced and trafficked by the American honor-shame hierarchy.

This, Eugene Peterson writes, is a dark vocational shift. It is the "radical fall from vocational holiness to career idolatry," which "goes undetected by all but the serpent." (Eugene Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness, p. 7)