Same Patterns

A friend shared this thought on Facebook and I thought it worth sharing. I found this to pattern to be true in my own context as well as the context that I’ve heard from other pastors. Here’s the thought:

I see the same pattern happen over and over.

New pastor comes in to a struggling church. Makes necessary changes to reach the community. People get saved. People get baptized. Church starts to grow. Glory hallelujah!

But then a handful of church people start to get worried about the traditions that they’ve lost. Not worried about right theology. Not worried about actual holy living. Worried about the lights, the carpet color, the musical instruments, their favorite church program, and who’s on the platform. Not worried about people’s souls. Not worried about the task at hand. More worried about the tools being used.

So they start a talking campaign against the pastor. They recruit folks to their side. They make sure that folks are vocal enough the pastor and the other leadership hear about it. They snipe and they gripe.

The pastor fights it for a while, but eventually gives up, or starts to give in. And the cycle of decline starts all over again. It’s like the cycle in the Book of Judges. Cycle, cycle, cycle. Same, same, same.

“God help us to be different, but just do it without changing anything.”

The Great Commission is not about preserving church traditions. It’s about reaching (cliche alert) a “lost and dying world” while there’s still time.

Here’s how strongly I feel about this. I literally pray that if I was ever going to be one of those people who holds back the move of God led by a person or people God has chosen, commissioned, and anointed, that God would remove me from this earth rather than to let that happen.

No wonder the church is losing ground in America. We care about stuff more than we care about souls.


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