The End, The Means, and The Ideal Christian Church

Many of you, by now, have realized that I have a vision for what a church should be and do. Maybe it is wrong, but, obviously, I don't feel that way.

But I am left with the million dollar question - What do I do about it? What do I do about my deep passion for what the church should be?

If I was the pastor of a church, I would teach, equip, train, and help in decision-making when it came to using church finances for loving actions. But when does the teaching and training become manipulation? If I, as a pastor, have a vision of where the church should head, but the people in the church want it to head somewhere else, am I doing any good by manipulating them away from where they feel the church is supposed to head and taking them where I feel the church should be heading? If I force people out of the church who have been there for years prior to my arrival, we call it a blessed deletion. But is that the right thing to do?

I think many times we think the ends justify the means, especially when it comes to church leadership. Whatever a pastor does to hurt people while trying to guide the church in the right direction is okay because they are doing it for God. I've seen many churches get new pastors, and, unfortuately, it is usually the same. Obviously, it is not always that way. But all five situations I have seen closely or somewhat closely as an adult have been the same. The pastor arrives. He begins laying the foundation for all the changes he is going to implement to make the church what he feels it should be. Some people begin to leave. We are told in Bible college that that is okay and to be expected. Then he continues to implement his vision. Some times he wins the battle and the church becomes what he feels it should be. Most of the time he loses the battle, leaves the church, and either starts the process all over again at another church or leaves the ministry.

I am scared that a new pastor will arrive at our church and do the same thing. But then again, I think that might be a good thing in this situation. We really lack on the whole corporate loving thing. We are not going to be successful trying mutual ministry (minister without a pastor) because there has been no training done and right now there is just a leadership vacuum. Those are just my views from outside the leadership. So a new pastor is probably needed. But, what do we do if his vision for the church isn't what we feel called to? Do we just leave? Do we become that blessed deletion? Do I just humor him and go along? Or do I change my belief on corporate loving?

Now let's transition to what I currently am. I'm just a laymen. I still have a vision for what the church should be, but I am in no position to begin implementing it. I tell people what I believe whenever the opportunity arises (once every other month or so). I've shared my views on corporate loving with various leaders trying to get the church to love more. It has resulted in nothing. What does a laymen that has a passion for the church do with that passion?

Do I go and plant another church? Do I go back into the full-time paid ministry and become a pastor and do the scenario listed above? Do I just continue doing the little that I am currently allowed to do, disregard my feelings on what a church should be corporately and just do the best I can individually?

I feel it is much easier to plant a church because people know what they are signing up for when they join the church. There shouldn't be a battle over vision, although that definitely wasn't the case in my first church plant. But now I wonder if I am too ingrained in my current church to plant a church? Would it wind up being more like a church split than a church plant? I don't want a church split.

I think that sanctuary (the new word I will be using for traditional churches) churches should usually hire from within. Then you don't have the vision battle. I have heard of a neighboring ultra-conservative church that has done that with a non-trained individual in their church and it has worked out well. The vision battles are some of the worst things that happen in churches. Hiring from within usually eliminates that disgusting process.

Today is just thoughts and questions that I have been having through this whole conversation the last few weeks. I have no answers. I don't know what to do with my life, concerning church, right now. I've been praying tons and will continue to do so, but so far there hasn't been any breakthroughs.

My ideal situation would be to find a church that is established (building and all doesn't matter) that wants to have mutual ministry and love corporately. They no longer want to pay a minister but want to become a church that ministers to themselves. They want to use the excess money to be more loving in tangible ways to people in their church and the community they live in. That is what I am looking for, but I haven't seen one yet.

Watch out for the potholes.