Many years ago, I saw a man named Gerald Robison presenting an idea that was silly to me at first. A few minutes later, I was intrigued. An hour later, I was forced to rethink everything. Many years later, the presentation he made has stuck with me in ways I cannot begin to describe. It changed my view of everything, and to this day, effects the way I see just about everything ministry related.
He started with the most ridiculous premise:
A dog says, “You feed me, you pet me, you love me, you must be god!”
A cat says, “You feed me, you pet me, you love me, I MUST BE GOD!”
Nobody thinks this way, right? However, actions tend to show that this is the truth.
Enter the church.
Everyone here is all too familiar with the despised concept of, “That is Mark Driscoll’s church. That is Mark Driscoll’s new book. Mark Driscoll rented Ephesus.” We hate this because everything Mark Driscoll says is about him, despite the fact that he says everything is about Jesus. He says that all the time in fact. “I started this movement. I planted this church. I pastor the thousands of people at Mars Hill Seattle. I wrote this book. I preached that sermon. I punched that guy. I revealed that sin. I rented that city. I preached to 45,000 on Easter.”
A cat lives out the Christian life getting something out of it. Mark has gotten quite a bit thus far. A dog lives out the Christian life looking for what God gets out of it. Those pastors don’t get much at all. You don’t know their names. They are not on the radar except for the few that they deeply impact over years of agonizing and testing ministry. Read about one of those no name pastors here.
There is a reason why A29 is sending Driscoll off into his own little world, and now Matt Chandler is speaking out about what A29 pastors see as the filth soiling the movement.
Folks, I want to settle a thing or two here, and I was encouraged to see posts along these lines the last week or so. It fueled me. So if you see your statement restated, I know, I read it.
Pastors are servants.
This needs to be clarified by maybe discussing what a pastor is not. A pastor does not lock himself in an office and study for 50 hours a week while “elders and deacons” or simple pew pigeons are out doing the ministry. That is what you call a paid theologian. Case closed. A pastor does not spend his days in the back of a coffee house running up the church credit card while blogging and facebooking all week. A pastor does not take off on 6 month book tours, speaking at every church in the country but his own. These are bloggers, or professional speakers, but not pastors. A pastor does not cut out the kind of crowd he wants swamping the church every Sunday, building prejudice, stereotypes, mockeries, and foul theology to cut people from the herd because of their clothes, weight, or choice of TV shows. Folks, that is Mark Driscoll, but NOT a pastor. Feel free to add your own stuff to that list.
I suspect there are quite a few good guys out there in the A29 world. I suspect this because they held a gun to the perceived head of the church, and impolitely requested that THE HEAD be returned to THE CHURCH. PhxP people, that is EPIC! That is a win!
We have all seen what happens when cats run the church. The meows that flow from the pretty mouths convince hundreds, thousands, and even millions. The life example produces like minded idiots, all in it for themselves.
We need to see more of what happens when dogs serve the church. The slobbering barks and wagging tails work hard, and make a difference in the life of maybe just one. Maybe even millions, but the dog has a very narrow focus, and that is to serve master. When a dog pastors a church, it is seen in every last aspect of the church. Same is true for cats.