I’m back at the conference this morning for a breakout session. The speaker is a dude named Shawn Lovejoy of Mountain Lake Church in Cumming, Ga. He’s going to yell at us about being a healthy leader in healthy church. This isn’t a session about doing, but about being.
Shawn started off talking about how the church planting process caused him to doubt himself constantly. This really rang true for me. I am an extremely upbeat and optimistic guy, but the first year of starting Crew sent me reeling into a time of depression. It was a rough time for me.
Here are some things that these times bring about:
Comparison to other leaders. We size up other leaders. How many people are at your church? Why isn’t our church that big? How old is your church? What are you doing? Should I be doing that?
Copy other leaders. The way we dress, what we say, and the style we adopt. But we aren’t those people so that only further frustrates us.
Condemn other leaders. We speak negatively of those who are doing “better” than us. They don’t preach well. Their theology is weak. Their selling out. On and on. Notice this guy’s points all start with “C” (See how I condemned him right there?). That’s the point.
(Those 3 things, so far, are things that are true of everyone in whatever stage or position, not just church planters.)
Add your own ideas to this list. Just make sure they start with “C”.
Now, he’s turning to 1 Samuel 17:38-40 to teach some of this. He’s preaching from the New Living Translation! Man, this guy is going to hell. Shoot I did it again. My bad.
Shawn Lovejoy says that, “Many church leaders are trying do ministry someone else’s way”. Just cookie cutter churches. How do I know if I’m doing that?
You take another leader’s personality. Act like they act.
You take another leader’s story. You take their path to “success” that they took.
You take another leader’s context. You do ministry as if you are doing ministry in another place. Your methods and creativity is reaching folks in a city your not in.
You take another leader’s expectations. Your church ought to be at the level of another church.
Great things to be heads up on and really dead on about the temptations I face.
My only question is: What then is a healthy leader? Someone who doesn’t do those things? This was a lot of don’t be this. But what am I (a young leader) to be? The answer by the way is 1st and 2nd Timothy. Am I right?