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Can You Hear Me Now?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jesus-Choice Awards

Imagine if you will the perfect set and scenery with heavy drapes and a well-lit stage. The sound from the orchestra pit is building as outside the red carpet is lined with ministry leaders from all over the world entering the 2007th Annual Jesus-Choice Awards!

The statue is a solid gold replica of Jesus (pre-crucifixion), and the categories read a little something like this:

Best Worship Team
Best Technical Effects
Best Large Screen Viewing
Best Off-Site Attendance
Largest Congregation
Best Tithe Collections
Best Sunday Attendance
Best Dressed members
Best New Church
Best Prayer Warriors
Best Miracle Performers
Best Tongue Speakers
Best Tongue Interpreters
Best Holy Spirit Presence
Best Stained Glass Representations
Best Communion body/blood
Best Tele-evangelist
Best Christian Based Movie/Television Program
Most Improved Pastor
Best New Pastor
Best Team Ministry
Best Children’s Pastor
Best Youth Pastor
Best Overall Pastor

Or we could do something like the “Pastor USA” Contest, where 50 different representative pastors from across the country represent their state in a national competition for best pastor. We could have competitions like:

Writing Samples
Church Membership Records
Tithing Records

And the top 5 candidates would have to answer a pre-selected question from the judge panel (Jesus) to decide who wins the Pastor USA Contest. The winner receives free marketing and advertising (worth up to $1,000,000), a year as lead pastor on TBN during primetime, a gold-paged Bible (translation of their choice) for preaching, and of course a crown and gold scepter for demonstrative sermons and personal appearances required by the Association.

You may be wondering where this is coming from…no, I’ve not gone off the deep end…

Super Mom has asked for an opinion on the topic: What’s a success? Lord knows I was never one to withhold an opinion. I also realized my own opinions tend to run much longer than a socially acceptable comment should run and so I chose to write an actual post/comment in my own space.

Here’s the request:

“What makes a successful pastor? What makes a successful church?I'd love to hear from anyone....everyone who has an opinion. I mean...what makes a 'church' a great place for you? What do you think makes a good pastor? (Or pastor's wife?)...and after you figure that out, what I'd like to hear is, how much of what 'we' look for in a church or a pastor, is what Jesus is looking for? Or what He'd call 'successful'?”

I honestly believe the success of a pastor and church lies in the body as much as the Leadership; whether they are called Pastor, Ministry Leaders, Deacons, Priests, or simply members of the body!

I once heard a pastor preach about his success being measured not during his tenure but many years after he is gone. Does the church still exist? Are the members still there and actively involved? Is the church affecting positive change in their community? I tend to agree. It’s wonderful to have awesome leadership, but ultimately God is our leader, our shepherd, and when we rely on another person to fill that God-shaped hole we will lack.

That said, Jesus also asked Peter to ‘feed His sheep’ and Peter did just that. Peter was successful in as much as he heard and heeded Jesus’ request. Did Peter make mistakes? I would have to say…YES!!!! Everyone but Jesus did, does, has, will. Still we are called to strive to be everything He created us to be…in all our imperfections.

For me a successful pastor (and a pastor’s wife) is one striving to be all God created him/her to be. A successful church is one that is mimicking what Jesus modeled for us; inside and outside the building!

Have a Jesus-Choice Thursday!


FarmgirlCyn said...

I would have to add that my idea of a good pastor is one who has his own family in right order. Our own pastor had an incredible wife, who, for the most part, is a "silent" partner...more behind-the-scenes, if you will. Always ready to minister on the side with anyone who needs her, and allowing her husband to take the lead. His 3 grown children are also part of the body, and THEIR children are growing up in the church also. I look at the fruit in their lives, and see what God has done. It gives me great peace to have that heritage in our body. I like what you said about what will remain years from now, after the pastor is gone. Good point!

Anonymous said...

Another outstanding post! Simply WOW!

Cool Mama said...

Hey Girl....I LOVE the idea of a Pastor Award! Wouldn't that be great, to have little congregations all around North America, sending in all the reasons why they love their pastor. I think I would almost put a limit on it - that Pastor's of Mega Churchs cannot apply! Most people enjoy their preaching, but I don't know if a 30,000 or even 5000 person congregation really KNOWS or benefits from their pastor - I mean 'who' can really pastor that many people. Manage the crowd maybe...hopefully pastor your leaders, to pastor the crowd. But..anyways...great post!