Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Sheep without a Shepherd
A few days ago I was on my way to preach at a local church when the "seek" button on my radio happened to stumble upon a preacher in the middle of his sermon.
"This oughta be good..." I thought to myself.
The preacher was going on and on about how he knows that right there in his very own auditorium there were people who he knew weren't really saved.
It gets better.
He went on to say that these same people who have been "darkening the doors" (such a backhanded compliment) of that particular church, have been there for over 15 years since he's been the pastor.
And you have the audacity to stand up there and condemn them?
Isn't that just a reflection of poor leadership?
It's not? Not even a little?
How about if your church had tripled in size over the past five years - would that have been a reflection of your leadership?
Why is it that all the bad things in a church get blamed on carnal Christians and not pathetic pastoring?
I've been in planning meetings where the charge is repeatedly leveled against church members that they just "don't get it", or that they simply "don't care".
Isn't that our job as leaders? To make them get it. To make them care.
Isn't that our responsibility?
I once sat through a sermon which was titled "Wake up, Christian!" I'm surprised the title wasn't, "I Lead a Bunch of Morons!"
If a church member falls asleep during a sermon - don't we usually blame the listener?
Maybe the sermon just really, really stunk.
I've personally had 4 of the 8 people I was preaching to fall asleep.
A whopping 50% had gone unconscious while I was preaching.
And that's not somehow my responsibility?
If I'm going to improve as a speaker, and as a leader, I must view that as my responsibility.
See, when you're a leader, you have to take responsibility for things that aren't necessarily your fault.
Of course it might be true that the people in your congregation don't care.
Of course it might be true that they are too lazy to stay awake.
Of course it might be true that there are people lost within our congregations.
But if the only response we can come up with is, "Wake up." - aren't we missing something?
We have to stop hiding behind the safety of a pulpit, pronouncing judgment on the many (yet, conveniently anonymous) heretics within our midst - and start lovingly making disciples one on one.
We have to stop passing the buck of responsibility, forever blaming the masses, and be willing to say (un-arrogantly) - "The buck stops here."
We have to stop bemoaning the fact that our congregations, classes, employees, and followers are just stupid sheep - and start being their shepherd.