Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why I'll Never Be a Mega-Church Pastor #1

Why I'll Never Be a Mega-Church Pastor Reason #1

This will be an occasional series of reflections about why I know that I will never make it as a mega-church pastor. Since there are probably hundreds of reasons, this set of blogs could go on for a long time. Today we discuss reason number one why I will never be a mega-church pastor: coolness. I am just not cool enough to be a mega-church pastor. I don't wear cool screen printed shirts, spike my hair with gel, or have those cool "Rob Bell" glasses. While I do occasionally get carried away while preaching, I'd never intentionally use blatant and combative profanity when speaking. I know that I don't have all the answers so that precludes me from having the power of the all-knowing cool guy. Also, I am not cool enough to present material in a way and make you feel empowered and like an idiot at the same time. I would also not intentionally look like I forgot to shave or comb my hair when I showed up on Sunday morning to lead worship.

Don't misunderstand me, not all mega-church pastors pass this "cool" test. Andy Stanely actually comes across as, well, kind of a really smart, nerd. He is an incredible leader who doesn't try to be cool. But as I have scanned upcoming ministry conferences seeking to find teaching applicable to transitioning the church I serve to the next level I have come across page after page of white men (well at least 90% of them are white men) who have lots of cool points. Here is an example of a leadership conference that is heavy on the cool points: (yes I know Francis Chan is not white, but he has awesome cool points!). Will this conference have valuable information? Sure! Will it have rocking Jesus music, terrific video, lighting effects, and gourmet coffee, no doubt. Do I really want to be the person who measures ministry by those standards, I hope not.

I have spent a year back in local church ministry and it is just as tough as I remembered it. There are days when it is like pushing a boulder, up hill. We are an awkward sized church, underfunded, and with wildly fluctuating attendance. We are having to re-establish working systems and re-vision our future while being understaffed and over-busy. But there are some days, when I baptize a child, welcome a believer into the kingdom of God, or just embrace a friend that I remember that God calls us to be the people of God where we are, and not to aspire to be who we are not. Lack of coolness, the #1 reason I'll never be a mega-church pastor.

Consumed by the Call,


Anonymous said...

I applaud your reason not to be a mega church pastor. I actually went to my friend’s church when I was visiting her, it was a mega church. I was more turned off by the pastor than anything else. He was what you've described as cool and really he wasn't. It actually made me uncomfortable. The best part about the service was this huge Vista Spyder crazy video wall set up, and the music which was all live. Let's just say church that day felt like a concert with a radio DJ rather than a service.

Anonymous said...

I can certainly relate to some of your points. As a worship leader I do not feel cool and most of the time I feel very "not" relevant. However I think sometimes that is coming from an insecure place and I sense that might be what you are actually writing about here. Everyone has issues with somebody's church. Maybe the pastors that you are talking about aren't really that cool. Maybe you and I are just a tad bit jealous and insecure. It's difficult to know until we actually meet and build a relationship with someone and even then can we really knock others based on the "cool factor"?