I seem to confuse people. At times I blog about my friends that lead modern churches and at other times I ask questions online that are almost…well…Emergent. I seem to be all over the map…and pull ideas from everywhere. I keep getting emails asking me to clarify which one I am…modern…or post-modern. The answer is…I am neither…yet…I am both. 🙂
At the ripe old age of 41, I’ve learned never to negate things just because it’s not your idea…movement…church style…community…calling…denomination…etc. As the leader and shepherd of a church I cannot afford to ignore any thing which God is using for His glory in other churches. It doesn’t mean that I go out and copy them…or try to apply something to Compass Point which does not fit our situation. However, it does mean that I check it out, be amazed by it, apply it when I can and be happy…and celebrate…that God is allowing another church to use it to reach people.
Gary Lamb’s church is a polar opposite of what God is doing at Compass Point. Yet, I have spent almost as much time on my knees praising God for what He is doing through Ridgestone as I do for Compass Point. Travis Johnson’s church attracts a multi-ethnic audience, where as Compass Point attracts young, white, artsy 20-somethings. Yet, he and I throughly enjoy trading ideas back and forth. Tadd Grandstaff has not even launched his church yet and Compass Point has been going about three years. However I am constantly inspired by his blog.
The point is…we are all in this together…no matter what style of church we are called to be. The guys I mentioned above pastor churches that are not even remotely like Compass Point…yet, the folks of Compass Point have enjoyed some of the ideas we have used from those other churches (the ideas have been tweaked..of course…to fit into the "Compass Point way").
This leadership thing is an ongoing process. Something…that I pray…I never stop growing in…learning in…and furthering my knowledge in. Creativity and innovation is hard enough to accomplish without limiting ourselves by only accepting ideas from within our comfort zone…or small circle of like-minded "friends". Shepherding people in their walk with the Father is hard enough without ignoring the suggestions…and successes…of other pastors just because they don’t identify with my little identity group.
To try an answer the original question again…I am both modern…and post-modern. I am both conservative…and charismatic. I am both simple…and complex. The only thing I am willing to leave unchanged is the fact that God’s Word is without error and that it is the ultimate authority in my life…and the life of Compass Point. Other than that…I am open to trying anything!!! I am willing to hear…and apply…any idea…from any source…that can help me reach more disconnected people in Lakeland, Florida for Jesus Christ.