Sunday, February 13, 2005

VIEW FORM THE PEW: Purpose Driven Tragedy

My wife and I were members at Saddleback Church for almost a year. In many ways, Saddleback is my kind of Church. Every detail is considered and managed; practically nothing is left to chance. Rick Warren seems to me to be a true man of God, a good Pastor, and a genuine leader. I believe God has blessed Saddleback.

Now, having said that, I also believe the “Purpose Driven” movement, is a real tragedy for the Church. I don’t mean the "Purpose Driven” concepts; with only a few exceptions, the concepts are solid. I can’t tell if the movement is a symptom of the lack of leaders in our Churches, or if the movement is causing leaders to be insecure about their own programs, or if leaders are becoming lazy; choosing to copy instead of innovate.

Almost everyone, believers and non-believers alike, are looking for innovative leaders with compassionate hearts. Encouraging people to sit in front of a TV and watch a video of a leader from another Church is not my idea of leadership or compassion. Preachers don’t need to be leaders, evangelists don’t need to be leaders, servant disciples don’t need to be leaders. However, Pastors do need to be leaders and Churches need to be distinctive. Pastors who can’t do any better than sell video tapes, need to reconsider their chosen profession.

That’s one person’s view from the pew.


The Nutter said...

"Encouraging people to sit in front of a TV and watch a video of a leader from another Church is not my idea of leadership or compassion."Ouch. Great food for thought. I haven't gone through the Purpose Driven Life/Church, and my brief perusal didn't pick up any doctrinal error. Still, I feel a vague unease about it. Maybe it's just my distrust of bandwagons, but I think you've hit on something.

Ken said...

The church in the New Testament is ALWAYS led by a group of men--elders. Saddleback Church sounds like one I would avoid--like the plague 8^) ! When one man is considered "the" leader, too, too often he (no matter how hard he may work to avoid it) becomes the focus of all ministry. God has blessed the body I attend with many men who are capable of leading and teaching AND they do it. It encourages other men to grow and mature to do those things as well.

We have an elder that is primarily responsible for teaching, but he often asks other men who are maybe more qualified to teach a section to teach it and then he sits through their teaching. Most churches never see another man in the pulpit and the "preacher" in the pew at the same time. When someone else preaches, the "pastor" is on vacation. The person who is supposed to teach on Sunday meets with members of the body (anyone is welcome to attend) early on Friday mornings (early enough to get people involved before they have to go to work) to review his material for Sunday morning. We primarily emphasize the systematic, verse-by-verse, expository teaching of the Word. We have occasional topical studies, but believe that we need to teach the whole counsel of the Word of God.