Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Ten Year Hiccup - Part 2

Part one of the Ten Year Hiccup was posted August 26, 2009. You may read it

In the spring of 1998 we officially launched PCC. Our congregation was small, resources were limited, and our budget was meager. But our statements, strategy, and leadership structure was solid and Biblically based.

Along the way, and over the years, we encountered a few problem people who challenged our mission, but that’s a normal part of church life. Besides, our philosophy of ministry was firmly established and this provided us with stability during those times. But at year number nine, as we began experiencing more growth and moved into our new building, it didn’t take long for the most vocal to start asserting themselves as leaders of our church resulting in a great amount of unrest. Their varying demands and voluminous complaints quickly threatened to sidetrack our church. The internal tension quickly overshadowed our mission.

What happened was a very small group of people expected to be placed in certain leadership positions they were not Biblically qualified to fill, or either did not have the time to devote to. T
he new and increasing demands of our church was now requiring the highest levels of integrity and more full-time attention than what these people were able to make themselves available for. Yet, they were insistent that our forward progress be held (back) to the level of their availability, or eligibility. This was the real source of tension. It was a power play on their part. They viewed our church as a “share holders” club and felt entitled to certain considerations. When they didn't get their way, their resulting behavior only confirmed their ineligibility.

Let me pause here to say – when a church has Biblically unqualified people sitting in seats of authority, anarchy and dissent will threaten everything. This is why the Bible places very high standards upon those who serve in churches at the highest levels of leadership. These standards are non-negotiable. Biblically un-qualified leaders will cause a great deal of harm to a church. In contrast, men & women who are Biblically qualified will bring safety and health to the body of Christ. This is the standard we have always held to for those who serve as elders, overseers, staff members, or on our corporate board.

Sensing they would not be able to take over, certain individuals began vicious campaigns of discord and dissent. This in turn resulted in other people becoming beguiled and misled. These instigators had to be removed, and were. Still others needed discipline. Others quietly stepped down. Some went out loudly. This was a tough time for us. But we met the challenge and decisive action was taken without backing down. Without it, our church was on the verge of being taken over by people who would have ruined it.

For the record, the people who serve at the highest levels of leadership at PCC, and those who serve on our corporate board, are people who are Biblically qualified to do so. Additionally, they are able to devote the amount of time required. For them, this is not a hobby. Neither is it a spare-time (or part-time) endeavor. It is a first priority for them. It’s always been this way at PCC. These individuals are called of God, and have the proper disposition to be where they are. They have the right kind of family skills (honed in the context of their own families) that they use for managing God’s family. They possess the necessary gifts to lead our church in a God-honoring, Christ-exalting manner. They understand the ministry, and have only the best interests of PCC at heart. They have the authority to provide leadership and administrate the church. They are empowered to exercise church discipline when necessary. They show troublemakers the door, teach the teachable, and encourage the broken. They train others for future leadership, reach the lost, and expose heretics who creep in unawares so that our church won't turn into an asylum of false-gospel crackpots or a haven for beguiling lunatics.

PCC has always had, currently has, and in the future will have more of, such leaders. In 2009, our ministry leadership team will be expanded. This is something I am very excited about.

The need for Biblically-based, formal, and qualified leadership has always prompted me to keep the ministry leadership pure at our church. This is why our church has grown, both in spiritual health and size.

And this is why 2009 will be even better.