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The Road to Hell Is Paved with Purpose Driven Relevance

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"4. Your senior team has grown older with you. This isn't so much a problem if you're twenty-two and just starting out. To have a young leadership team of idealistic people is an awesome thing. Sure, some wisdom wouldn't hurt, but still, the world often gets changed by young leaders on a mission. But what happens is that twenty-year-olds eventually turn 30. Fast forward a bit, and one day everyone on your senior leadership team is in their mid-fifties. That's a big issue. Left uncorrected, teams tend to age with their leader. As a leader in my fifties, I've had to be incredibly intentional about surrounding myself with leaders in their 20s and 30s, something that really energizes me. You may not have the chemistry or familiarity with younger leaders that you do with your peers who have been through life with you, but renewing the leadership table with younger leaders is critical. It's easy for older leaders to think that younger leaders are too young to lead. You were too, once. And someone took a chance on you anyway. And you did some of your best work then too, didn't you?" -- Carey Nieuwhof

Listen; there is nothing wrong with engaging leaders of all ages. Paul exhorts Timothy to not let people give him grief because he is young. The issue is in assuming that if you are purposefully engaging young leaders that you are somehow deficient because the bible also exhorts the importance of experience in leadership. Nieuwhof and Warren have a cookie cutter and they wield it with extreme prejudice and precision. Everything new is cutting edge and everything old is religious. The problem is the first thing cut is the Gospel and without that all you are left with is a handful of marketing schemes and cute catch phrases that save no one.

"5. The very thought of change makes you tired. The gap between how quickly you change and how quickly things change is called irrelevance. The bigger the gap, the more irrelevant you become. Change is difficult at the best of times, but if even the sound of change makes you tired, it's a sign that you're becoming irrelevant. It's normal to default to the status quo. We all do. A few years ago, my dentist told me I needed at least five crowns. The thought of that made me feel tired and broke all at once. I got a bit of the work done but then took a break. One afternoon I was eating some cereal and I noticed something that didn't feel like cereal in my mouth. It was half a molar. Guess where I went the next day? Too often, that's exactly how we approach change in the church. We wait until something breaks, and then we'll try to fix it. That may work with a tooth, but it's a terrible strategy for leadership (okay, and for dentistry). In our rapidly changing culture, waiting until something breaks to fix is one of the fastest ways to ensure you become irrelevant. If change makes you tired, I promise you, the slow death of your organization will make you even more tired." -- Carey Nieuwhof

Pastor or those who aspire to such hear me very clear. If your goal is mega church stardom then this may very well be solid worldly advice. The bible teaches us however in Acts 2 that the growth of a church has nothing to do with us. God gives the increase as he sees fit. If he gives you a church of 200 and it stays at that for your tenure but nearly all are saved and discipled then you will hear well done my good and faithful servant. Change for the sake of change is unnecessary and dangerous when it comes to Gospel preaching. Every scheme you come up with by default detracts from the Gospel. It also is how you come to a place of marginalizing the Gospel. Just look at the precipitous fall of Andy Stanley. Once revered he is now a heretical pariah who no longer preaches the sufficiency of the Gospel. The road to carnal relevance only leads to Gospel compromise.

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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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