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Analyzing the NAR Leadership Church Trend Worries for 2020

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Let me see if I have this right. Older pastors have older members and younger pastors have younger members? Be still my heart. What is at issue here is the infatuation the purpose driven mindset has with innovation. To Carey, when Hillsong sends out their youth pastor naked to their women's convention, they are just innovating. Pastors who preach sermons about carnal movies are just being innovative. Pastors who turn their sanctuaries into motocross or monster truck rallies are just innovating. Meanwhile the "older" pastor who refuses to compromise the Gospel has fallen prey to sunk cost bias? How pathetically absurd. The vast majority of carnal purpose driven methods need to not only atrophy -- they need to be taken out back and shot. The young reaching the young without the Gospel will only result in generations lost to Satan.

"3. THE SUCCESSION CRISIS WILL BECOME MORE OF A CRISIS. I believe we'll see two things in 2020 when it comes to succession. More older leaders who realize it's time for them to move on but who don't know how. More younger leaders leaving because older leaders won't move on when they should move on. I hear almost every day from frustrated younger leaders who complain about how stuck, uninspired and stubborn the senior leadership in their church is. And talking to older leaders, it's equally clear many (not all, but many) have run out of vision, energy and fresh ideas for the seasons ahead while they hang onto leaders. When most churches are plateaued or declining, younger leaders know what many are loathe to admit: it's unlikely that the leader who led a church into decline is going to be the leader who gets it growing. Every year the church is led by a leader who's lost vision, lost passion and lost focus, the mission suffers. However, the succession crisis is only a crisis if you make it one. Great leadership renews. Other leadership hangs on." -- Carey Nieuwhof

I may not have heard a more carnal minded conclusion than this foolish idea of a "succession crisis." The pastoral call does not have a shelf life. Younger leaders should not be eying how to get rid of their pastors. That is not the model Jesus set up. Whatever happened to the servant mentality? If God wants to promote you and give you more responsibility there is nothing any man can do about it. Carey paints a picture of a very inept or incapable God here. While we are here let us deal with the 800-pound vision gorilla in the room. There is only one vision beloved and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It does not need to be watered down, sugared up, modified, made relevant, massaged or marketed in any way shape or form. It just needs to be preached. The only time a pastor "runs out of vision" is when he stops preaching the Gospel. Any pastor, young or old, that has a different vision needs to get back in their lane, back on message and stop representing the enemy. Great leadership renews is a worldly concept. The world discards their wisdom for what they think is the hot new trend. The church and the Gospel do no such thing.

"4. PREACHING WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE TO HIGHER QUALITY, LOWER REPS. In almost all growing churches there seems to be a move by preachers to higher quality and lower reps. Higher quality means spending more time working on each message. Lower reps means preaching fewer messages each year. That's a big shift. What's changed, of course, is that content is now everywhere. I informally polled (via text) half a dozen preachers under age 45 I know who lead rapidly growing mega-churches. I asked them how many times a year they preached. The answer was eerily similar: 33-39 Sundays a year. Which means they're not teaching between 15-19 Sundays a year. And most of that is not because they're on vacation or teaching somewhere else. As Aaron Brockett from Trader's Point told me: Preaching reps work a little like dog years"they age you. I want to develop other communicators and expose our people to other voices and styles as well." -- Carey Nieuwhof

Wow, the inner workings of the carnally reprobate mind. The shepherd is called to shepherd. They are not called to pass along that responsibility 37% of the time. Yet Nieuwhof wonders why church is in decline. There is nothing wrong with a guest speaker from time to time but the pastor is called to pastor, which means to preach. Nieuwhof's conclusion here is to focus more on the quality of the message rather than the quantity. I understand that from his perspective, where the growth is the responsibility of the preacher and he believes they can determine eternal matters through their temporal skills. That is just not how it works. If the church truly moves to this 63% work rate than the church will decline even more.

"5. THE MEDIOCRE MIDDLE WILL FRUSTRATE MORE CHURCHES. As I outlined in my Leadership Trends for 2020 post, the middle is disappearing from our culture. It's also disappearing from our church. This middle is where average lives. The middle is trying to reach everybody. And in the church context, in particular, the middle involves imitation. If you look at many churches, the last few decades have involved a lot of imitation. Find a big church you admire and emulate. However (and this is a big however), many smaller to mid-sized churches don't have the people, money or gifting to pull off what larger churches pull off, or at least they lack the ability to do it well.

As a result, mediocrity wins.

The Band is trying to do Hillsong/Elevation/Bethel, but it's really not that great.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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