A friend of mine who is pastor of a large student ministry here in southern California recently wrote about something unusual that happened to him in a meeting with the senior pastor.
“Last pastoral staff meeting my pastor addressed the room saying, ‘We don’t hear enough from the student ministries about how they’d run the church if they could. Next month, I want to hear from the student ministries team what they would do differently in the church if they could.’
Run that by me again. No senior pastors EVER bother to ask that question. Truthfully, I’m a little stunned. I never thought this moment would ever arrive — not because my pastor isn’t a learner — I just thought this is the stuff of fantasy.”
What a courageous and unusual question. Sometimes churches can become overly focused on the “leader” – of which there can only be one. That “leader” must be solely in charge and make all the key decisions about what happens next. But it shows incredible insight to ask the next generation of leaders what they might do if given a turn at the wheel.
More impressively, read this Student Ministries’ courageous response. You must download the PDF, which graphically demonstrates their thinking on conversion-based ministry (on the left) vs. disciple-based ministry (on the right). It’s a respectful challenge that starts with the irrefutable truth of the Gospel. A challenge that more churches should consider.