Thursday, March 13, 2008

Machiavellian Pastors???

My new friend, Byron Bledsoe, has a great church in Orlando (C3 church), and they are really doing church the way it should be done... but it has come at a price. His and Angie's (his wife) blogs are insightful, creative and real. There are no pretensions about them, and my wife, Sola, and I already know that we are going to be really good friends with them. They have walked some very similar roads to us, and yet have not become bitter and jaded. It seems that, the lot of the pastor who wants to grow and become more like the Scriptures command us to be, is destined for ridicule, criticism and judgement.

A while back, I posted a blog in which I stated that one of the most profound statements that had shaped my approach to ministry was one I heard Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.TV make. He said: "The growth of your church is in direct proportion to the amount of pain you are willing to endure." Why is this the case you may wonder? Shouldn't the Church be the safest place on earth for anyone and everyone? I found the short answer to those questions on Byron's blog. The quote on the side bar of his home page is a quote from Niccolo Machiavelli, and it says this:

"It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it."

Jesus backs up the truth of this statement in many instances, such as when he healed the paralytic that was lowered through the roof of a house in which He was preaching. Initially everyone murmured and complained at Jesus' methods, questioning who he thought he was to dispense forgiveness. As soon as the paralytic was healed though, they all began to sing Jesus' praise and talk about how wonderful a guy he was. So, to Byron and all those in ministry who are willing to endure the pain so that they can usher in a new order, I doff my hat!


Hope said...

Wow! How true. I'm reminded of what Christ had to say to the church at Laodicea about being lukewarm ... I think the word "vomit" was used, wasn't it? As Shrek would say, "change is good, Donkey." :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bro! We're looking forward to this weekend. Keep the faith, Peace!


Joseph said...

Hope, I can just imagine you doing your Shrek imitation and it brings a smile to my face.

Byron, we are looking forward to hanging out with you and Angie too. Keep doing what you're doing, it's making a difference.

Joey said...

Ogre's are like onions.
Ogres stink?
No Donkey, Ogres have layers!

Oh, don't get me started! :0)

Joseph said...

Joey, get you started? You're always "started" you don't need any help to do that. :)