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My comments at MMI

I appreciate the Monday Morning Insight and have spoken to Todd on a few occasions. He has an article today about a Pastor in Nashville who was ousted from the church he planted nearly 15 years ago. Apparently the membership is up around 4,000 (I've read 2,500 and 4,000 in different places).

The allegations were harsh and there were plenty of meetings. Ultimately this Pastor spoke this Sunday afternoon to a packed room of about 1,000 supporters where he laid out a vision for a very large ministry in the Nashville area and beyond. It seems the commenters at MMI dislike this guy and for the most part believe he should move out of town for the sake of 'unity' at his old church.

I left some comments that I'm sure are controversial so I figured I'd own up to them here. By the way, yes this is one of the things I enjoy doing on a study break.

Okay… I’ll be the first to bite the bullet for this guy.

1. We don’t know what happened. Could allegations be true? Sure. Could they be false? sure. Apparently this man has invested a great deal of his life into this area and these people.

2. BCC doesn’t have a corner on the Nashville “market”. God isn’t confined to our mapping of an area. If people seek God and ultimately follow another Pastor, I don’t see the problem in it. I don’t think scripture set out a ‘no compete clause’ and I don’t think Paul cared for how the gospel was spread as long as the truth of Jesus was spread.

3. God ultimately determines success. If it’s not God’s deal, God will make it known. If however God brings thousands to Him because of this experience, so be it. Where do outsiders have a right to shut down a new work before it begins and someone please use scripture to say that a Pastor must move out of town if he’s fired. That would be an interesting conversation.

4. Many solid churches started in adversity.
In the life of every church planter is a passion for something better or different. Status quo never initiates change. This man has a desire to stay in an area he’s invested the last 15 years of his life… so let him. He will have more to offer that city than anyone who may come along in the next 10 years. He’s not getting younger and his effectiveness is likely right where he is. As a stewardship issue from his perspective… this is a great thing and a God-honoring thing. Unless God leads him elsewhere, he should make a difference in the here and now.

5. The unity we are to seek is unity in Christ, not unity in a particular polity. Paul and Barnabas are great examples of disagreement which advanced the Kingdom. Were they able to do more by seperating? I’d tend to think so. With unity in the scriptures you find that people who don’t necessarially get along are both called to the same thing but in different ways so the division actually breeds unity in the long run b/c we’re all doing the same work. Now, if someone brings forward a Timothy or Titus concern about any Pastor it’s worth discussing… but I see this as having the potential to be amazing for the Kindgom and for many lost people in Nashville.

If a new church planter comes to town it will take him many many years to build the network of relationships that this Pastor already has. It will take a new planter years to understand the culture and demographics… If the Kingdom already has a man who is capable in the region… let him continue to glorify God. Bloom where you’re planted. To my knowledge he was let go from the other church. When you’re fired, you’re released from obligation. He owes nothing biblically to those who canned him. His duty is to God and God alone. Granted, if he’s disobeying the prompting of the Holy Spirit… he’s got far more issues to worry about than what a few people in a website think about him. Otherwise… To God be the Glory for Great things he has done.

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Let me be clear... I do not know this Pastor at any level and have only heard what has been published online about the incident. If I met him and we talked for an hour, I'd have a much more clear view so my comments are more generalized in nature.

I'm over the idea that conflict is terrible for the Church. Iron only sharpens iron where there is friction. I'm also over seeing the word 'unity' being tossed around like a disagreement is the anthesis of unity. We are to be united in Christ, not in taste or opinion of everything. We're a kalidascope... we don't look the same, act the same or talk the same... even do things the same. Sometimes that difference can lead to a type of division. Not division over the centrality of Christ in all things... but a division over how we move forward. We've had people in our own church that wanted to go a different direction that I knew would forefit the reason God called me to lead the church (i.e.: the uniqueness he built into me through my gifts, talents, circumstances, passions, experiences, etc.) When you come to a place where someone is asking you to forefit that.... you have to walk away. In our case, others have walked. I'm convinced that these types of divisions only enhance the Kingdom if both parties are focused on Christ. Not everyone of us are called to do the same exact thing in the exact same way.

Monday Morning Insight Article

Dr. Foster's You Tube Clips from Sunday
(there are 9 small clips so be sure to watch them all. MMI cites only the one where Dr. Foster shares thoughts of the future and readers haven't taken the time to watch the others.)

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, August 16, 2006

1 Comments:

At 3:27 AM, Blogger Dan Ohlerking said...

very well-put, tally.

i'm with you all the way on this one.

(rare that a post this long EVER gets me to agree across the board - i'm pretty good at disagreeing....)

maybe i'll disagree with something in one of those videos.... :)

but then we wouldn't be unified. dang.

 

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