It’s not unusual for questions to emerge about the positions and decisions of the church he or she calls home. We invite it. Done with the right spirit, it’s healthy. Bring it!
Over the next two weeks, four teachers will take the platform in relief of me while I enjoy some time relaxing and refreshing with my family and extended family on the beaches of the Carolinas!
Two of the speakers you will likely recognize as part of the teaching team, Pastors Webb and Coffey. The other two you might not: Brian Phillips at the Marcus Theatre site and Aaron Stephens at the Jerome HS site.
Some traditional church models turn the pulpit over only to those who have been formally educated, ordained by an accredited institution, or are otherwise qualified to have authority within the church.
Although very little is arguable about such parameters and the importance placed upon the pulpit – we function according to a different model at Vista, while remaining true to the idea of guarding the importance of the pulpit.
We qualify our leaders, teachers, pastors, preachers, directors, counselors, and the like over time by the outlines in the New Testament letters of 1 Timothy (3) and Titus (2), through the careful observation and training of close community, through trial and error, and through the testing of the heart in the ordinary and often deeply trying challenges of life.
As we seek to recognize potential, develop competencies, build character and entrust (2 Tim 2:2) the message of the gospel to certain individuals, we recognize it as part of our core values and a God-mandate and Jesus-instruction to multiply.
Our new leaders (in any capacity) understand that opportunities are far less about the chance to prove who you are and what you know and far more about the profound (and often surprisingly painful) experience of discovering their weaknesses and enduring the analysis and building of their character and competencies!
I invite you to always be on the lookout to encourage and speak honestly into what God may be bringing about in the lives of our young potential leaders. Rest assured regarding the legitimate concerns about “guest preachers” that ANYthing that is proclaimed from the platform has been in large part been scrutinized, developed and affirmed under authority, and that ANYone being trusted with such responsibility is equally guarded by seasoned leaders and elders.
It’s not a perfect system, but nor has it been since the days of Acts.
It’s not a perfect system, but neither has Jesus ever suggested we rely on perfect people.
It’s not a perfect system, but it is through our imperfections that he is most glorified.
It is our hope to responsibly and soberly guide followers of Jesus today to rise up to shepherd and lead the church of tomorrow.
It is our hope that the promises of scripture, the safety and scrutiny of the community, and the work of the Spirit will guide and direct us as the church surprises itself and the world with its inexplicable success in proclaiming the gospel, seeing the lost found, the hurting healed, the captives released.
As the Hybels quote on my desk (for nearly eight years now) goes…
“There’s nothing like the church when it’s working right. Its beauty is indescribable. Its power is breathtaking. Its potential is unlimited. Whatever the capacity for human suffering, the church has a greater capacity for healing and wholeness. The potential of the local church is almost more than I can grasp! No other organization on earth is like the church. Nothing even comes close.”
And here’s the unspoken reality beneath that quote, to my point above… Who is the church? That’s you and me. Yeah. Wow.