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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lessons from Chi-Town...

I am going to start blogging ideas/concepts/lessons that I am learning while planting a church in Chicago. Here's today's:

As a Pastor, if we spend more time preparing a sermon during the week than making disciples then it's no wonder the church in America is in crisis.

I told my wife last week, "I miss preaching." You see, I've always preached somewhere. Whether it was traveling at an event or in a local church, I've preached for the past 10 years of my life and it has become one of my major strengths and giftedness. However, since moving to Chicago I haven't preached once. The summer is over so no more youth camps. No new events scheduled here, because no one knows who I am. We haven't "launched" a large gathering yet, so no congregation to preach to on a sunday. What's a pastor to do??

This is why I am convinced we've got this whole "church" thing backwards here in our country. Don't get me wrong, preaching has a place in the church and I will continue to use this gift, but it can't be the end all, or even the most important thing. But profoundly, in America, it is. People choose a church not based on the teaching of the Bible, but "how" they teach the Bible. In other words: Is the guy/girl any good? Is it entertaining? How many Inception video clips were used this week?

Because of this, it has put tremendous pressure on pastors to deliver a flashy message to meet the demands of their customers or they will go to another church and get what they want there. This has caused Pastors to spend most of their time preparing and studying for their sermon.

Does it really make sense to place most of your weeks time and energy into a 30-45 minute presentation? Thats 30-45 minutes out of 10,080 minutes in a week? How can that be a good steward of our time?

What if, though, Sunday wasn't the most important day? What if we replaced the "event" with the church? What if as Pastors we spent our week making disciples and mobilizing them to go into their domains and make more. Then everyday becomes the most important day of the week and everyday we carry out the great commission.

You see everyone asks me when I am going to launch my church, but what they're really asking is, "When are you going to start a sunday event?" I've already launched my church. We launched when we got here and started meeting people, prayer walking, and sharing the gospel. I didn't move to Chicago to launch a worship service, I moved here so God could build His church.

One of the most refreshing things of planting a church here in Chicago is that I spend most of my day trying to engage people and our community in order to make disciples.

What if I would have always done this? What if Pastors would lead out in this and what if we could get our churches to do this? Now, that would be something worth preaching about.


  1. Scott and Ashley - You are on to something. Churches need to be in the outreach and discipleship businesses first and foremost. Reach'em and teach'em. I've never really understood the numbers game with baptisms if the church is not doing anything to help them with their walk. I'm quite certain that Jesus and his guys weren't counting heads. God is really at work in your lives. Our family is praying for you all. ... and by the way, and for your October 2nd pleasure: BOOMER SOONER!

  2. thanks for the prayers and your comments Larry! Hope all is well in Denton. and yes boomer got us this year, but every once in awhile we have to let you guys win or you'd stop playing us cuz you'd lose hope of ever closing the huge win advantage gap we have in the series. haha