It’s been a few days since the structure changes happened at saddleback, and the excitement hasn’t faded for me yet. after talking some with one of my friends, i was coming to the conclusion that I don’t think I’ve been this excited for ministry for years…
someone else asked, what do you think are the biggest challenges you’ll (as a leadership team) will face? I didn’t have a very coherent answer at the time, and I probably still don’t…but, for starters:
We face a new ministry context. we’re all in way over our heads…we’re new to this game and thinking about ministry on this level of influence and complexity…now, saying this isn’t particularly insightful: this is what Rick was going for when he chose to make this shift: he wanted to switch from the experienced, founding pastors to a new group. duh, of course this is different for us!
We face biblical standards for relating to one another. It’s a difficult thing to live in community the way Christ demonstrated and commanded. Rick said we would be evaluated on our love for one another, ability to maintain integrity in confidentiality, and our humility. These things don’t just happen, even for mature believers who have been walking with Jesus for a long time.
We face huge and challenging projects. The current top priorities are mind-blowing: budget (short term), 10×10 vision (long term)…
We face the unknown. Being new to the table means there’s a lot we don’t know about. “Expect the unexpected” comes to mind… (and then I wonder if it was a speech writer who created that and didn’t remember the law of non contradiction). I’d rather say “expect the possibility of the unexpected,” but that’s not clever or memorable (just accurate).
We face the dangerous temptation that follows blessing. We’ve been entrusted with a huge responsibility, and honestly, it’s humbling…now. However, every human alive has the ability to forget the works and wonders of God, and move toward self-reliance. Pride is a universal problem among people. This is all over scripture (see nearly any part of the history of Israel). Rick has said that few people handle power well… you only have to look as far as your homeowners association to see this truth.
Anyhow, I’m sure there’s a ton of challenges we face…and all of this is simply my perspective, I’m sure I’m missing a lot.
In the essential things, absolutely nothing whatsoever is changing. God calls us to be faithful with what he has entrusted to us. We walk by faith and live in obedience (living up to what we have already attained). We leave behind worry because we’re not the Creator and the Author of life. My ministry tomorrow is nothing more than preparation for eternity, just like the ministry of my yesterday.