Shifting Paradigms from Rituals to Relationships

This past month, four of us from our church were messengers to the Colorado Baptist state convention held at First Baptist Church of Black Forest. I’m grateful to all who organized and participated in this. All of us left encouraged and challenged.

Many of you know that we have a new state executive director for our convention (an executive director is the official name for the guy at the top of the chain of command). His name is Nathan Lorick. He issued a new vision for our convention that was based around five paradigm shifts:

  • From a convention to a network
  • From program-driven convention to process-driven convention
  • From reactive to proactive
  • From expert to hero-makers
  • From conventional formal to relational

His talk will be made available soon and in some avenue we will make it available to you. But while we can certainly dissect each of these, they have one strain in common: moving forward intentionally to connect and serve people and churches (both pastors and lay-people). It’s about relationships.

I’m thankful for this. But I often am reminded of this when it comes to leading people: change moving forward is not always an indictment on the past. Things change. And it’s tough. And change in our culture (no matter what aspect of culture) is happening at breakneck speed. And it happens in churches.

I grew up with a pastor who was seen as the ‘sage on the stage.’ He was the expert. He went to seminary, was on the mission field, and had the title of pastor. But I know that’s not the mindset of many now—and am I ever thankful.

I want to be the ‘guide on the side.’ Meaning, I want to go along this journey with you. Granted, God has called me and placed me at this season as your lead pastor, that is, your undershepherd. Scripture reminds me that I must preach, lead, equip, and love from Scripture. According to Hebrews 13:17, I as your lead pastor will have to give an account for how I shepherded you from the Word. But understand, God has blessed us with Christ, His Church, His Spirit, and His Word for us to grow in our worship, connect with others, serve others in Jesus name, and go into our spheres of influence Monday through Saturday. And I promise to lead, influence, and equip from these things to help you move forward to plant those acorns and kernels of the gospel so that mighty oak trees and a great harvest will abound.

November is the month of thankfulness. I’m thankful for what I’ve seen in Hebrews 13:20-21:

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Jesus, God will equip us with all we need to do all He commands.


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