The Painful Lessons of Mars Hill

This article isn’t discussing breaking news, but I finally got to catch up to a few items on my “to read later” list. From Leadership Journal: The Painful Lessons of Mars Hill.

Western Seminary’s Dr. Gerry Breshears, a past friend and co-author with Driscoll, says many churches today have a problem with “giving lip service to ‘co-laborers,’ while depending on a single superstar.” And if it is all about the superstar, he says, then what if things go wrong with him or her?

I have first-hand experience of churches operating on a smaller scale but in the same way: around a single charismatic individual who does not believe he or she is really working alongside others. Those churches were built, to varying degrees, on the cult of personality rather than the Church. I’ve seen the devastating fall-out when things go wrong with that kind of leader—and felt it personally.

On the one hand, I’m not the prototypical church planter. I don’t tend to draw crowds and I’ve never been confused with a socially popular guy. On the other hand, I do have a strong (if introverted) personality, and the danger remains. We are spending a ton of time building up and equipping leaders for the labor of planting a church-planting church. We have not talked a lot about “growth strategies.” We have not talked marketing, or efficiency. We talk instead about Kingdom values (more than conversions!) and the desire to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when we meet our maker.

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