Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pastors - Don't Work to Make Things Happen (The Presence-Driven Church)

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Green Lake Christian Conference Center, Wisconsin

As pastors, we do many things. But "doing things" is not our primary calling as pastors. Rather, being something is. Whatever doings we have to do must come from our being.

We grow in being by being a branch, attached to the source of life, Christ. Apart from Christ, whatever we do is nothing. "Apart from me," Jesus said, "you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

The most important thing I do as a pastor is abide in Christ. Otherwise, I do nothing. Otherwise, I burn out. Dallas Willard writes:

"That is why the work of leaders and pastors is often so hard and so full of disappointments. Their own lives are empty, and eventually they blow up. That is because they haven’t heard the message that Jesus gave. They have heard another message, and perhaps with the best of intentions they were drawn into a life where they thought their job was to make things happen. But that is the worst position they can be in." (Willard, Living in Christ's Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God, p. 21)

"Of course," says Willard, leaders need to act, but our job is not to make things happen."

God's job is to make things happen. "We live in the kingdom of God, where God is active. His Spirit is present. His Son is alive. That’s where we live. If we make it happen, the result will be our converts, and we’ll have to keep making them do things, because they will depend on us to jump-start them and keep them going." (Ib.) 

Introduce people to God's kingdom.

Teach them how to live the connected life.

Discern how God is moving among you.

My first book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.

My second book (Today I'm re-editing ch. 8 out of 9 chapters) isLeading the Presence-Driven Church (Sept. 2017).