If Not Now – When?

May 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Leadership

The following data is taken from an email I received from one of our Transformation Partner Pastors. The situation was this. A local church in the area where he pastors has been watching the transformation that is taking place in the lives of the people in that assembly and the lives of the leaders themselves (this church is 18 months through a 36 month process). They are intrigued by what they see. They know that what they are witnessing is precisely what the NT describes as ‘church’. They want to see this same process take place where they gather.

However, they also want this to be at no cost to them in  terms of sacrifice, risk or just plain hard work. They have the delusional idea that somewhere there is a ‘little blue pill‘ that when taken produces instant and painless transformation. Suddenly all is well. People are transformed. The lost are saved. The saints are transformed. The community is reached with the good news of the gospel. Wow, this is what we all desire. But, this does not fall out of the sky and hit you in the head. It takes Leadership, someone needs to step up and act, and diligent persistent effort, everyone needs to do their part!

Here is a portion of what I received in that email.

I met with XXX last night.  The question they had was ‘Why we went with IUS?’ I answered this question by using my journal entries from 2007 to our half way evaluation. This took about 20 minutes or so. It was an interesting response to say the least. I have a great appreciation for what you and your team go through in helping churches who really need the help but just can’t come to terms with one another and or have no energy to apply in the process that might get them out of the mess they are in. My assessment of the situation is they are overwhelmed with the responsibilities they have, fearful of making a mistake, so they are not making any decisions, haven’t spent time wrestling the big issues down and are either too busy or don’t want to take the time necessary to do it. . . .You could tell he was waiting for the messiah to come in and do the work of the ministry for them. Looking around the room I could tell this was the direction and with the lack of a key team leader in the group who would be able to carry this kind of an initiative, this will probably be the path they follow.

I remembered your motto – “Do no harm”, so I tried to be encouraging and hopeful. Their last survey/ assessment came to light. It has been one full year since its completion. XXXXX and the other person were the only ones who had a copy of it and not one of them could remember last time they had looked at it! The room got really quiet when I asked who was responsible for implementing the recommendations. Coming back to the revitalization question earlier I asked what the deacons were doing ? Ouch! To me this was the key moment of the hour! Sorry to say it was the chair of the (XXXXX) committee who dove into the deep end of the pool to rescue the deacon’s, they were silent! I left them with the article Beauty Contest and encouraged them to contact IUS. I assured them you would be willing to talk with them. I don’t think this will happen real soon BUT it may happen sooner than we think!

So I return to the question that is the title of this post – - If not Now – When? The church in America needs Transformation. The church in America needs Leadership. The church in America needs courage to trust God and engage in becoming what He calls us to be. The church in America needs to act!! If you are a Pastor reading this BLOG I pray that you will be moved by the Spirit of God to do just that. Pray – Meditate – and take steps to see God bring Transformation to the people you Shepherd by using you as a courageous and humble servant-leader. God’s best as you lead! NOW really is the time for you to act!

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