Arrogant leaders have driven more people away from church in recent years than people realize. Arrogance is self sabotage, and nothing will destroy your ministry faster. One rockstar sang, “It’s no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy.” In Melville’s masterpiece, Moby Dick, Captain Ahab, and First mate Starbuck face off in confrontation. Seizing a loaded musket, Ahab points it at Starbuck exclaiming that there is only one Captain on the ship. Starbucks composes himself and pauses before he exits the room, “Thou hast outraged, not insulted me, sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man.”_ Starbuck was right. We are often the monster at the door. Peter said that humility should be possessed “above all” as a cloak that covers our gifts and abilities so that it’s the first thing people see.
My mentor of 25 years went home yesterday…
I stood on a balcony at a coffee shop in Atlanta crying like a baby after receiving the news from Wales.
When I was 19 years old, I ventured to Wales, the land of my Fathers with a backpack and a mountain bike. I deep dove into that country for 6 weeks, before cell phones, traveled hundreds of miles by bike, train, and truck. As I traveled the length and breadth of that great nation, I hosteled, slept outside, and stayed with families. Most importantly, I learned about revival.
I returned home, and drove to the girl I had a major crush on, now my wife, Andrea. While at her house, her brother told me that a speaker from Wales “who took over for Lloyd-Jones” would be at his Men’s study in Aliso Viejo on Saturday morning. As he said it he was laughing. There was a catch. The Men’s study met at 6am. Having wicked jet lag from a transcontinental flight, knowing I’d need an hour, and assuming this was a practical joke, I decided to chance it and go anyway.
It’s funny how our lives are often hinged upon a minute decision.
That morning I heard something that changed the trajectory of my life forever.
It was the ultimate bandfest where headliners like Radiohead, the Foo Fighters, Beck, Rage Against the Machine and Incubus took the stage in rocked the world as the Woodstock of the 90s.
Simply put, if you were into rock, it was the place to be.
Exponential is the Lollapalooza of church planting.
Hundreds of speakers are under one roof, at any given time, kicking down church planting wisdom applicable to various contexts, models, and methods.
But the thing I appreciate about Exponential the most, is that they get it.
The American past-time isn’t baseball.
It’s getting angry.
Americans are skilled angsters who never miss an opportunity to jump a bandwagon and go to war over something they won’t even remember tomorrow.
Because of our inherent tendency to give knee-jerk reactions, we not only serve as a source of endless laughing stock entertainment to much of the Western World, we also tend to emote our rage without thinking.
When the book The Shack came out years ago, a Pastor slipped it to me in Europe and said, “You didn’t get it from me, but I think you need to read it.” I read it. I cried. It touched me at various points, and made some good points to boot.
Did it have MAJOR theological problems?
You bet it did. Very serious theological problems.
But that shouldn’t determine whether or not you see it.
Today we talk about the unforgivable sin of any preacher.
Our series on preaching over at the Church Planter Podcast is up to part 4!
This week, we move out of the preparation of the preacher, and more onto the delivery of the content.