Wednesday, October 18, 2006

7 habits of highly unorthodox leaders

Mark Batterson, at National Community Church in Washington, DC, posts on 7 habits of highly unorthodox leaders
Jesus was anything but orthodox. Don't get me wrong. Certainly no one was more orthodox in belief. After all, Jesus didn't just know the truth. He was The Truth. But he was anything but orthodox as a leader. Not only did he break tradition. He broke the law. That is why the Pharirazzi despised him!

In the words of Dorothy Sayers:
To do them justice, the people who crucified Jesus did not do so because he was a bore. Quite the contrary; he was too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have declawed the lion of Judah and made him a housecat for pale priests and pious old ladies.

Jesus touched lepers, washed feet, hung out with prostitutes, talked with Samaritans, partied with tax collectors, and healed on the Sabbath.

Jesus wasn't just an out of the box. He smashed the box to smithereens!

So here's a thought: the more like Jesus we become the more unorthodox we'll be.
Unorthodox... He goes on to explain what he means by that
We must strive for doctrinal orthodoxy while practicing leadership unorthodoxy. The message of the gospel is sacred, but methodology is not. The moment we anoint our methods as sacred, we start repeating the past by doing ministry out of memory. Jesus set a much higher standard than that.
Mark then says:
No matter how good a leader I am, someone is going to take offense at me. It's inevitable. The question is this: who am I going to offend. And who you decide to offend is one of the most important leadership decisions you'll ever make. Jesus decided to offend the religious establishment.
He then speaks of what happens at NCC [and happens everywhere]:
I've never had any unchurched or dechurched people complain about the way we do ministry at National Community Church. The only complaints have come from people with church backgrounds. In fact, it seems like the more church history someone has the more potential problems they'll have with NCC. I'm certainly not suggesting that we're beyond criticism. I see imperfections everywhere I look. Especially when I look in the mirror. But I've discovered that many of those complaints trace back to one root cause: NCC isn't doing church the way their old church did church. We're a little too unorthodox for their taste!
But why?
Why do we try to remake churches into something that looks like what we used to have somewhere else? Pastors are guilty of this as well. There are many excellent churches in Canada and the US: but we don't need another Willowcreek or Saddleback or Church on the Way or Centre Street or Mars Hill or NCC or.... God is in the creating not the cloning business.
Why do we not celebrate the good things that God is doing in place where we are?
Let's be unorthodox so that those who are not yet part of God's Kingdom will see/hear/experience the life and joy of God.


Kevin Flatt said...

But, to paraphrase McLuhan, sometimes the method IS the message... ?

pastor mike said...

that is why we need to be careful not to lock ourselves into a particular methodology/approach.
at one point overseas missions did that and ended up exporting north american society as much as the gospel
at the same time as I need to be careful that we don't lock ourselves into a particular methodolgy, i believe that we need to carefully examine an methodolgy we use: i.e. new and/or different, for the sake of being new and/or different is not sufficient.