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What I wish I’d known about church, asking for help, and laughter
When is it good to see spiritual immaturity in your church? Matt Chandler shares how he learned to appreciate God’s work in a growing church, as well as what he wishes he had known about asking for help, laughter, and discipleship.
What I wish I’d known about the church
I wish I had understood that if our church is seeing people come to know Christ consistently, we will always look a bit immature and messy around our fringes.
I would often lose heart in my first few years at what I believed was a lack of holiness in some of our members. My eyes would skip right over those who had been significantly transformed and the maturing center of our membership, and would fixate on the baby Christians struggling with their flesh.
I would often lose heart in my first few years at what I believed was a lack of holiness.Tweet
I think the burden is a good one. I want every one of our members to grow into maturity more quickly than they seem to, but the Lord has taught me to shepherd people, call them to repentance, and let Matthew 18:12–14 play out.
What I wish I’d known about asking for help
When I became a pastor, I didn’t realize how often I would have to ask for help. I was used to being the smartest guy in the room, and then God dropped me in a place that was well beyond me. It was painfully awesome.
When I became a pastor, I didn’t realize how often I would have to ask for help.Tweet
When I started as a pastor, there was a staff of three and a church of 168. I didn’t know how or who to hire next or anything about constitutions and by-laws. I had never been a part of a church discipline issue, and I didn’t know how to find and train elders or how to prepare to preach that many weekends for an indefinite period of time. I could go on and on. God was faithful to send me wise men to help me through.
What I wish I’d known about laughter
I wish I had known how re-energizing it is to eat and laugh with good friends and peers. I had read a lot of books and articles on longevity in ministry and was trying to manage energy, sleep, diet, and stress well, but having friends over, enjoying good conversation, and laughing always seems to refill my cup.
I wish I had known how re-energizing it is to eat and laugh with good friends and peers.Tweet
What I wish I’d known about discipleship
It may sound strange, but I wish I had remembered that although I was working to make disciples, I was still a disciple myself.
I needed mentors and others to speak into my life, hold me accountable, and be willing to say things that are hard for me to hear.
Pastor Matt Chandler is speaking at our 2013 Resurgence Conference in November.