Today I went to see the launch of a new church in the same community in which I hope to plant a cluster of house churches. Actually, it was the launch of a new site in the American phenomenon called multi-site churches. My goal was to see what this new church was doing, meet up with some friends for lunch afterward, introduce myself to the pastor and offer to help in any way I could to make them successful in representing the Savior in the community.
All my missions were accomplished. I heard a wonderful message from a young pastor, and came away with a new clarity on why I don’t want to do what this particular church is doing.
That is not a criticism of them. What they did, they did wonderfully well for the model they are using in the planting of this new congregation. They love Jesus. They are seeking to be faithful to him. And they want to reach people with the life-transforming message of the gospel. But as I sat in worship I began to see with greater clarity why I don’t want to plant an attractional model church. I have missiological and ecclesiastical reasons for that non-desire. But I am not going to write about that here. Today I am going to write about my personal reason, the reason that is just me being honest at this phase of my journey.
I sat in the service, and these thoughts came with the clarity of a hunting knife to my spirit. I watched a fine young pastor, with a deep value of preaching the authoritative word of God, who had done his homework and now was delivering a passionate message and I thought, “I hate these meetings because I love them.”
I love worship. I love being with the family of God. I love hearing the word from preachers who have been with God and desire to communicate with passion. That’s not what I mean when I say I hate these meetings.
What I mean is that, as a pastor, for me, these meetings are intoxicating. I love being that man. I love having “the answers.” I love being sought out. I love it when the whole room is hanging on my next word. I love knowing that others describe me as a “big deal.” I love it that I am considered the “essential guy” to have in the room in some situations.
And that’s why I hate these meetings; It’s because they feed a dark part of my soul. I hate them because I fear that they accelerate a cancerous growth in my spirit that threatens to undo the whole of my life.
I’m not saying anybody else struggles with this or even should struggle with this. I’m just saying that I have been that guy and I don’t want to be him again.
I want Jesus. He’s all I want and he’s all I want my soul to want. Ever.