When I was active-duty military, we would receive emails entitled “Lesson Learned.” They would tell stories of how people did their jobs poorly, often with catastrophic results. Every time part of the problem was a failure in leadership oversight. I wonder how often that is the issue in the church as well.
It is that time of year again here in New England – time to celebrate another winning Patriots season. But it’s not only their athletic skills that I admire.
A few years ago, they made the phrase “Do Your Job” popular, and my wife bought a Patriots beanie with that slogan. When they won Super Bowl 49 (I’m not so good at Roman numerals), there was a documentary called “Do Your Job” that followed the Patriots season. The filmmakers showed the interior of the Patriots offices, and etched on a glass door were the staff rules —
I have only been the lead pastor of two churches: a church plant in a rural-to-suburban community in Washington state and a replant/revitalization pastor of a church in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. On the surface there seems to be very little common ground, but something that I have learned in both roles is the importance of community engagement.
Where we are in New England, there are so many churches that have abandoned the Gospel and faithfulness to the Scripture. Many of these churches have become nothing more than buildings that are a tribute to a past that was once so influenced by the Truth. Like King Josiah, can we see godly pastors lead them back to faithfulness?
When I became pastor of First Church in Charlestown -- one of the oldest churches in Boston -- in July 2015, a large portion of our community thought that the church was closed, and the building was abandoned. The congregation consisted of about eight older people who had been attending the church for decades. We have grown slowly over the last three years, and we have been blessed to see people begin to grow stronger in their faith in that time. One of the challenges of pastoring a small church is that the church is unable to provide a full-time salary for me, and I am currently bi-vocational.