3) The shepherd becomes the vision casting CEO. God has a design for His church. It is supposed to be led by pastors who act as shepherds, tending to the flock the Lord entrusts to them. When you see yourself as a vision caster and CEO however, you no longer have time for such tasks. Your Pastoral Care Associate Pastor will handle the hospital visits. Your Counseling Services Associate Pastor will handle the counseling needs. If you fancy yourself a vision caster you are guaranteed to leave the vision God has already laid out. As a CEO, you will look at the congregation as customers instead of sheep. Where sheep always need attention and care, customers can be replaced. You just need a new marketing plan.
4) Blessed subtraction flips the Bible on its ear. These things come together as a pastor will pursue his vision instead of his sheep. Those pesky folks who disagree or want to talk endlessly about biblical doctrine? They are just pillars that are holding up your progress. They are just a pile of dead bodies for you to leave in your wake. It does not matter how much the Bible teaches otherwise; they must go.
This series was vitally important because the vast majority of people attend a church like this right now. If the church has a vision statement that changes every year or so then you just might be in an apostate church. If your church uses power words and operates more like a fortune 500 company than a fellowship for believers then you just might be in an apostate church. If they are more focused on church attendance than true salvation. If they rarely preach about sin and the need to repent and instead you are subjected to a litany of self help and motivational messages. If people keep leaving and no one seems to care. If your church is more concerned about the club lighting and smoke machines than the Gospel. You just might be in an apostate church.
So what to do? Ask to meet with your pastor. If they refuse or someone tries to turn it back around on you, then you know you are in an apostate church. What you need to do then is simple. Leave. If they never come looking for you then you know you made the right choice.
Post Writing Note -- I discovered during the writing of this series that for the first time in 10 years Rick Warren is bringing back to America his Purpose Driven Conference for pastors and church leaders. God help us all.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- June 28, 2016