plodding visionaries

i feel slightly guilty when i link to someone else’s blog.  i mean, i’m publishing a blog post, but i’m expending absolutely zero creative energy.  it’s like i’m taking credit for someone else’s work.

so what does it mean when i link to a blog where someone else linked to another blog who linked to yet another blog?

bob hyatt, the perspicacious pastor from portland, linked to a refreshing article kevin deyoung had written for tabletalk magazine that was posted on ligonier minisries website (whew!  i’m out of breath after writing that!).  the title of the article is “the glory of plodding” and it was like a drink of cold water for me.  please read it when you have a moment.  in the meantime, i will share a couple of salient points.

It’s sexy among young people — my generation — to talk about ditching institutional religion and starting a revolution of real Christ-followers living in real community without the confines of church. Besides being unbiblical, such notions of churchless Christianity are unrealistic. It’s immaturity actually, like the newly engaged couple who think romance preserves the marriage, when the couple celebrating their golden anniversary know it’s the institution of marriage that preserves the romance. Without the God-given habit of corporate worship and the God-given mandate of corporate accountability, we will not prove faithful over the long haul.

What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. That’s my dream for the church — a multitude of faithful, risktaking plodders. The best churches are full of gospel-saturated people holding tenaciously to a vision of godly obedience and God’s glory, and pursuing that godliness and glory with relentless, often unnoticed, plodding consistency.

The church is not an incidental part of God’s plan.

now you can see why this essay was so encouraging to me.  i desperately want to be everything i can be for god.  but i have finally come to the sad conclusion that i don’t have “the stuff” to be a prolific church leader.

but i can plod.


4 thoughts on “plodding visionaries

  1. You, in fact, have put a certain level of cool into plodding. You also like pudding. I’m just saying.

  2. I had to look up the word “prolific” and I would say you are prolific….because your ministry bears much fruit…..I think I didn’t say exactly what I meant about Chan leaving Simi Valley….(I am known for that)…I don’t believe it is God’s will for leaders to leave the “institutional church” if He has not said to do it…but what if God does direct that way…I’m not talking about leaving the Godly habit of corporate worship…I’m just saying in the context of leadership…couldn’t a leader have developed leaders and elders to the point that the church would be strong if God directed him in a different path? If the work is built as God has directed then the work should remain. If it’s built on a person or personality….then…..
    Couldn’t it be possible for God to direct him to go to another location to begin a new work living out convictions and beliefs that apparently for Chan he has kept quiet for many years? (and, I wonder why he has…) Is it possible for God to direct a leader to leave the “institutional church” setting because He knows there will be little or no change? I just wonder if there are leaders who God has spoken specific steps to take in order to set the church up in a new testament fashion and the leaders are afraid to step out of or stop supporting the “institutional church” model for varying reasons. Part of the frustration here is I’m quite sure God didn’t direct leaders to bring the church in America to the condition of it’s present state….so if God has been speaking….have leaders been listening and obeying? Just wondering how we got to where we are….and if we keep doing what we’ve always done…we’ll keep getting the same result.
    I apologize if I offended…it wasn’t my intent. I was just applauding Chan for having the guts to begin to follow and begin to live out his convictions and for having true humility to say…not sure what will happen…I guess we’ll see. And…I guess we will see……
    And…by the way…is it left up to only leaders to “plod”? Do lay people have the liberty to leave a church for better programs instead of staying where God had put them and plodding with the leader? Just wondering….

    • excellent points, fran. i think you communicated your position quite well.

      let me address your question (“I’m quite sure God didn’t direct leaders to bring the church in America to the condition of it’s present state…Just wondering how we got to where we are?”) with one of your own statements: “If the work is built as God has directed then the work should remain. If it’s built on a person or personality, then…”

      the thing i fear most (and i continually ask the lord and my friends to point out to me) is the subtle temptation of personal kingdom building. for example, “what about all i’ve invested?” or “if i leave, who will continue my work?” it is really easy for “ministry” to become about me rather than the lord, especially when we allow our identity to be defined by our position.

      as you know, i am a huge “chan fan” and i admire the courageous step he has taken and the example he has set for all ministries.

      that being said, i believe there are faithful people who are doing the tedious work of reformation (i.e.: chainging entrenched thinking) within “the institution,” and they should be applauded rather than derided. i will attach a link to an interesting/encouraging article you might enjoy. by the way, i don’t think i’ve told you lately that you are a cherished friend and fellow servant.

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