An Open Letter to Pastors
This was an open letter to my brothers, friends, and comrades in arms known as CrossPoint Location Pastors, but I share it here as my heart for all of you as well.
As I have been studying the book of Joshua in my devotional time, I have been gleaning some lessons on leadership. I know the purpose of my study time is to hear from God and submit to Him. But, the side notepad of leadership ideas that stream from this book has caused me to think much about what I, you, and we do here at our church.
I will hopefully put these thoughts all together someday and (even more hopefully) I pray they will be a blessing to us all, but something struck me today that I need to share immediately.
Chapter 12 of Joshua is one of those pass by chapters. It’s just a list of names of conquered kings and geographic designations you can’t even find on the maps in the back of the book.
While I know each name and location are significant, let’s be honest; most of us skip a chapter like this and leave it to the seminary profs.
However, I want you to see the placement.
Joshua is a 24 chapter book, and this ‘pass by’ chapter of names and places divides the book in half. From a leadership perspective, the division is essential.
The book’s first half is about conquest, war, taking the land, fulfilling the promise, and achieving victory. It’s exciting, fast-paced and the stuff found in most pulpit pounding sermons.
The book’s second half is about maintenance, administration, putting out’ fires’ and setting up the systems to inhabit this new promised land. While it has its highlights, the second half of Joshua doesn’t seem to have the same power-punched excitement of the first half.
Despite the difference between the front and the back of this book, both are equally important aspects of leadership.
We all love the passion of the vision, the launching of the new, and the exhilaration of pioneering. And, guiding a church through these waters is most definitely in your wheelhouse… it’s what you do, what you are called to, what you’re gifted in, and the requirement of being ‘the pastor.’
But, in the same breath, the distribution of resources, the placement of people, the mediation of grumbling, and the discussions on the direction and the day to day mechanics of sustainable ministry are also your direct responsibility… it’s what you do, what you’ve been called to, what you’re gifted in, and the requirement of being ‘the pastor.’
I am thankful for your partnership in the Gospel. I am privileged to know and work with you. I am more confident on this day than I have ever been in my professional life that I am surrounded by the finest men I have ever called brothers and pastors.
I offer this letter to you, not as a rebuke… not at all. I send this to you as a reminder to us all (and, now to all the readers outside of our network).
Taking new ground, blazing a trail and pounding out Kingdom victories are what we do. But, JUST AS IMPORTANT are the day to day, grinding it out, working the process and the using what you’ve got moments that God has given you the privilege of getting done.
Be the leader.
Be the pastor.
Much love to you all and blessing on your families.