No Battleground

What do I and Compass Point Church have in common with Mark Batterson Ed Young, Jr., Perry Noble, Andy Stanley, Gary Lamb or Ben Arment nd their churches? The answer is . . . practically nothing. We have
different visions, different audience demographics and different ways
of doing things. The one thing we ALL have in common is the unbridled
desire to see as many people come to Christ as possible!

I have
grown incredibly tired of this "implied battleground" by some of the
emails I receive from church planters and other bloggers. They seem to
think there are two camps – those trying to be modern churches and
those that are not. What a stupid thought process! Modern churches are
stupid. Emerging churches are stupid. Identifying with a movement is
stupid! Christ is the only identifying characteristic a pastor or
church should have. We are all in this together and all the guys I
mentioned above struggle to find out how do a better job of reaching
more people.

Sure there are different ways of approaching this
concept we call church. However, it shouldn’t be determined by what is
a "right way and wrong way" of perfecting church. It should be solely
determined by the leading of the Holy Spirit in the shepherd’s life in
accordance with the needs of the individual flock. Approaches are not
wrong. Concepts are not wrong. Ideology is not wrong. We should
constantly be struggling to discover new ways to present an old Truth
without dismissing things because of personal preference. Only heresy
is wrong and should always be a battleground.

Gary Lamb doesn’t
podcast, however I do. Not because one is right or wrong, but because
our flocks are different. Mark Batterson’s National Community Church has muli-site services, Compass Point does not. Not because one is
right or wrong, but because our flocks are different. Ben Arment’s History Church uses message series, while Compass Point doesn’t. Not because one is
right or wrong, but because our flocks are different. God calls
different leaders to different things because of different missions.
God doesn’t seem to care all that much about movements, just people.
For a church leader to dismiss an idea or approach just because it
comes from a different type of church is just plain . . . well . . .
stupid.

Compass Point is more like Mosaic or Mars Hill, than say. . . Northpoint.  We attract a predominately 2o-something, highly artistic, almost
nerdy-hippie flock. Yet, my staff has devoured all of Andy Stanley’s
books and our Pathfinders children’s ministry uses the 252 Basics! curriculum designed by Northpoint. Why? Because it is the best solution
for our flock of children and we spent countless hours in prayer coming
to that conclusion. Our leadership might come up with something better
tomorrow, but today Northpoint’s resources are the best for our
situation.

In essence, there is no battleground. Some of the
leaders I have mentioned in this posting I communicate with several
times a month through email or phone. I read their blogs everyday.
Their thoughts, visions and strategies challenge me. They challenge me
to think, to color outside-the-box, to pray, to ponder, to read
Scripture, to seek God’s guidance in leading this flock called Compass
Point. They may have different styles, but that doesn’t mean they are
wrong. They are Godly men seeking to do Godly business in an ungoldly
world. Anytime that "iron sharpens iron" God moves in mighty ways. That
is why I will always read the blogs and books of other church leaders.

I
was once asked at a church plant conference I spoke at what would be
the greatest advice I’d give to church planters. It is this . . . don’t
box yourself in with the latest/greatest/coolest church plant movement
because it makes you stop listening to other ideas from other church
leaders that God might want you to use.

Compass Point is not
emergent. Compass Point is not modern. Compass Point is not old-school.
Compass Point is Compass Point. We are trying to reach as many people
for Jesus Christ in Polk County as we can and disciple them into a
growing relationship with God. We will beg, borrow or steal an idea,
concept or strategy if we think God can use it to help us reach that
goal – no matter where it comes from.

No Battleground