issue31 nopomprealness

Issue 31: Stop This Habit and Set A New Expectation

Feeding & Leading the Sheep

I’ve seen churches that fawn over “important” people who start attending their church. Pastors and members do this. Someone with wealth or clout in the community begins attending and efforts are made to make that person happy.

This is a mistake. It shapes a culture of rating people based on importance and undermines humility within the congregation, including us as pastors.

That’s the subject of this week’s newsletter.

Pompous-Free Realness

We have a value at my church called “Pompous-Free Realness.” What does that mean? It means our culture is marked by authenticity and humility. We’re not interested in boosting people’s egos. The only person who gets to be a big deal is Jesus.

We say “no big-dealness allowed” a lot. What we mean by that is you’re not going to fit at our church if you expect to be important.

The reason we’re confident in that is because I don’t let myself get lifted up as the center of people’s praise either. No pastor or elder is allowed to be set on a pedestal. We have to humble ourselves and pull our weight like others.

Why does this matter? Because it sets the tone of the culture of your church.

1 Actionable Tip

Protect against being made a big deal or making a big deal of others in your church.

We are a large church outside of Nashville. Many prominent Southern Baptist Convention agencies and institutions are near us. How many prominent SBC folks attend our church? None. Why? One reason is because we don’t care about status. We don’t put someone in leadership because they have a social media following. We don’t fast-track people onto the stage simply because they are gifted.

Why? Because we promote a culture of selflessness and humility. You can’t lead if you can’t first follow. You don’t get influence or position unless we believe you’ll use it to serve others and not yourself.

If you embrace this approach, it will create a healthy church culture that disciples people toward less self-importance and more focus on Jesus.

Opportunities for Next Steps

1. KJM Student Camps in 2024. I’m excited to announce that Knowing Jesus Ministries is launching our own camps in 2024 called ARISE Camps. Check out the announcement video and join a list of leaders interested in hearing more as details finalize.

2. Student Minister Leadership Lab. We are excited about pouring into student ministry leaders with a practical workshop style event. Join us in Nashville August 3-4th for coaching and practical help for leading an effective student ministry. Register here.

3. Engaging Truth Conference at Ridgecrest. Join us in the mountains of North Carolina on October 13-15 for our national student conference. We’ll gather with Trevin Wax, Matt Smethurst, Dean Inserra, Neil Shenvi, Abigail Dodds, Katie McCoy, Journey Worship Co. and many more. Register or learn more here.