Navel Gazing

February 25, 2016 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

There are three distinct responsibilities for the Pastor/Elder. They are to Lead, Feed, and Protect. Included in the Leading and Feeding roles is the clear imperative of making disciples. This means reaching lost people with the message of the Gospel. This has become ever more challenging in our culture of narcissism – it’s all about me/us.
A deadening reality has settled upon many/most churches. They are engaged in what I label ‘Navel Gazing’. That is, the vast majority of ministry initiatives are focused on what makes those currently in the fold happy. Failing to do so puts the pastor at risk. He will be deemed a failure and often there will be action initiated to terminate him for cause (that cause being he did not make me/us happy!).
One of the services IgniteUS offers the local church is a Pastoral Placement Process. We work with the Placement Office at Southern Seminary led by Sam Tyson. As I review the postings of churches seeking a pastor a glaring and repetitive factor emerges. Nearly all their focus is on what the pastor must do internally. They are focused in an inordinate manner on making the existing members happy. Let me be quick to add that caring for and nurturing the flock that exists is a vital and important aspect of shepherding. However, this may not be the only or exclusive work of the pastor. To do this is deadening and is a causative factor in the persistent decline of the evangelical church in America. When churches complete the Assessment we provide nearly ALL score 1 or 2 on the Community Connection question on a scale of 1-7. This indicates they are not reaching their community and making disciples as commanded by the GC. So, what is the focus of ministry where you serve? Is it full-orbed and exegetically sound or are you ‘Navel Gazing’?

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