Trendy Ministers of Christ

Man, I am a posting fool today. I need to get off this computer.

Paychop wrote:

"I have been asked by several friends if I was going to "catch the wave of what God is doing today". They were referring at that time to a trend, teaching, church program or whatnot. (I don't mean to sound elitest, or anything) but have you thought that maybe there are some people that are pastors-- that all they can do is follow trends and "Christian movements" because all they do in their ministry is respond to the perceived needs of the congragation?
I have the sneaking suspicion that may be the case, and perhaps there are contrarians, like us, that enjoy moving away from current trends and movements because God is placing us--not where the trends are now---but preparing us for where things are going to be happening down the road. **absolute speculation** what do you think?"
I guess there are many types of ministers.

Those who do traditional church because they enjoy it.

Those who do traditional church because they know that that is what their parishioners want and they are there to serve them.

Those who are cutting edge and want to try programs because they have a passion for the church to be what they feeled it is called to be.

Those who are cutting edge and rip off programs because they do ministry as a job but they want to be successful.

Those who are radical because they are rebellious.

Those who are radical because they are sensitive to what God is leading them towards.

There are varying degrees of all types, and I'm sure that this list isn't complete. But it is just what I have observed.

I interviewed Ryan Dobson a while back and I think during the interviewed we encountered a guy who just wanted to copy programs to be successful. Here is the full interview, but following is the excerpt that pertains to this topic.


We stopped recording at this time and watched the second round of skateboarding. However, during the round a guy came up and introduced himself. His first question probed where Ryan goes to church. Ryan answered that he used to go to Saddleback and now goes somewhere else. I can’t remember where that somewhere else is right now. That’s what a tape recorder is for, and I didn't have it on at the time. Then the guy asked Ryan if they are a post-modern church. I asked part way through his reply if he minded if I turned on the tape recorder because he was saying some good stuff. He gave the ok.

Ryan – There is a website. I don’t know if it is, but they are so mad over my view of post-modernism as a thought theory (against being a worldview). There’s a semantical difference. That’s all it is. It’s like saying “gay” means “happy” rather than “homosexual”. That’s all the difference is. And they’re so upset by it because they view post-modernism as people in a post-modern time. Not as the traditional theory of post-modernism as a thought process. Post-modernist thought is relative thought. It’s more relativism as a whole. And because they (churches) have chosen to call themselves a post-modern church, people respond by saying, "You believe there isn't absolute truth."

The other guy – So churches shouldn’t call themselves post-modern?

Ryan - They shouldn’t get mad when people think they teach relativism. It’s like if I had a gay church and said, “Oh, no. It’s a happy church.” People are going to assume I mean something else, so you can’t be upset by that. It’s okay if you believe that and just explain to people when they come into contact with you. “Our church is a post-modern church.” “Oh, do you this?” “No, we just live in a post-modern time and are part of a post-modern movement.” I wouldn’t call a church post-modern unless you believe truth is relative. If you do, then it seems pretty consistent.


The other guy – (He said something about Post-Modernism is just a label we put on it. It was hard to hear because he was standing a distance away from my tape recorder.)

Ryan – Our church is a younger church. We have lots of community involvement. We have tons of small groups. We have a real Bible-believing pastor that preaches from the word, from his heart, and where God leads. Our church is interesting. Our teaching pastor, the one who preaches on Sundays, is not our head pastor. Our worship leader is our pastor. It allow our teaching pastor to focus 100% on weekend services.

The other guy – Isn’t that the way a lot of churches are heading?

Ryan – I think it would be great if they did. Not a lot of pastors were meant to be managers, administrators, or fundraisers. They were born to preach. To allow them to do what they were called to and allow someone else, who is a good administrator, to do that part of it, it’s awesome. I’m a speaker. I’m really bad at organization. I have an agent who does all my contracts, bills, accounting, and contracts. If I had to do that, who knows if I would get to any events. It’s great that way. It allows me to do what I was called to do.
It might be true that we are just one trend ahead, but I don't know. I tend to think that trends happen when we forget the basics. There is nothing complex about the basics of Christianity. If the faith was lived out in our lives, we wouldn't even have to be concerned about trends.

I was in a conversation with my mom on the phone today. We were talking about a conversation we had with one of my uncles last night. During the conversation speaking in tongues and end-times views came up.

Speaking in tongues is one of the most controversial things in the church today. I prefer to not even share my opinion on it. And end-times views. Churches have split over it. I think having a dogmatic stance on either of those things is divisive without producing any fruit. The only thing I want people to have to disagree with me over is being loving like Christ is loving. We can disagree on almost anything else and I will be fine accepting them as a brother/sister in Christ. Too often we focus and debate on minor issues when we should spend our time focusing on the major thing of the faith, love.

But maybe God is convincing me that the trend I believe in isn't a trend, so that I will be more passionate about it. Only God knows.

Watch out for the potholes.