Friday, April 2, 2010

Set Your Pastor Free

So, here's an idea... Let's start a movement in the churches across America. We'll call it "Set Your Pastor Free". Here's how to start -

If you are any kind of an active member of your church, get some other folks from the congregation together and schedule a visit with your pastor. Now, be aware of this going in: he's going to be on guard. Groups of people from the church don't make appointments with their pastor unless they're going to dress him down, set him straight or otherwise add to his anxiety.

Nevertheless, once you sit down with him, smile very nicely and say: "Pastor, you have been leading our congregation heartily for some time now. You put a lot of effort into building us up, teaching us, caring for us and praying for us and we know that, given all that energy, we should be pretty strong and equipped by now. So take the week off, pastor. "Heck" (and make sure and say "heck" and not the other word...), "take the month off. Take your spouse on a vacation. Do some good reading. Go for a swim, play golf, hang out with some of your heroes -- whatever you want. We'll run the church while you're away..."

Now, at this point your Pastor is going to be:

a. Suspicious of your real agenda
b. In tears
c. Laughing
d. Speechless (and looking a little confused)
e. All of the above

One thing is for sure: You definitely have his or her attention by now. So, continue as follows:

"We're serious pastor. We've decided to set you free. Don't worry about your paycheck or much of anything else. We're ready to start acting on all the stuff you've been telling us for years about being the Body of Christ, gifted for ministry, and all that. So, we'll preach. We'll teach. We'll start spending more time and resources on really connecting with the community and exalting Christ in worship and devotion. And, if anyone calls for you, we'll just tell them that you're "away from your desk" for awhile and take a message."

"Seriously, pastor -- we're ready to do the ministry you've been training us for in your sermons, counseling, prayers and care. We're ready to be mature and actually take on the lion's share of the church. So, go ahead, relax. Read a magazine. Go to a movie. We'll call you if we need anything."

Are you and the people from your church ready to set that appointment right after Easter? If so, bring smelling salts. You're likely to need them.

I dare you.

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