From St. Louis With Love

I was just mulling over the content from the preaching of Dwayne Bond (thus the James Bond reference in the Title). He is an Acts 29 pastor in Charleotte, NC, and spoke on Lessons Learned from Church PLanting.
He gave us a list of things that we can be tempted in as we walk down the road to church planting (or anywhere in leadership for that matter):

Perform, Pretend, Control, Worry, Hate

The interesting thing that I kept thinking was how UN-remarkable the list itself was. Much like the qualifications for an Elder (1 Timothy 3:1-7 , Titus 1:5-9) are required of all believers elsewhere in the Bible, the difference in them is the call God would put on individuals lives. Thus this list is a potential pitfall to any in leadership of our formative years, but also to any that attend and find themselves called to the mission of Missio Dei. It is very insightful to lay these ideas out since for many of us we can relate with several if not all of these lines of thinking to the detriment of the gospel work in our lives.
Here is the core lie that we work from in each of these 5 bad fruits:

We perceive our reality in light of our expectations instead of re-calibrating our reality and expectations around Christ.


The snare in performance is when we allow our performance to make us feel good abut ourselves in our accomplishments. OR conversely we let our performance make us depressed because of our lack of accomplishments. Our identity is based on what we can and cant do, when instead it should be on Jesus and what He has and will do through us despite ourselves.


In essence this is basically "painting on a happy face". Often in Christianity we like to look better than we actually are. We believe that by pretending to be "better" we will somehow magnify the amazing power of the Gospel into some Holy elixir that cleans up all our crap and turns it into roses. In reality all this does is rob the gospel of it's power by making it UN-appealing for all those people who are actually broken and know that there is no way they will ever be clean. These people are right, they never will be clean, so how bout we show them that we aren't actually clean, but simply holy, set apart by Jesus because of His perfection not ours.


Somehow if we can exercise authority over all the areas in our lives we can maximize our opportunities and it will all get done right. NOT! In leadership this mentality robs people of the opportunity to grow, minister, fail, learn, and lead by giving opportunities and then re-claiming or scrapping them at the first sign of mis-managment or failure, or gives the opportunity but not the authority thus keeping it under our control as the leader (micro-management). In general when we attempt to control even our own lives it sets us up for the ultimate failure by replacing God with ourselves. When we are on the throne that is God's it only goes one way. BAD.


Have you ever worried about the worry that worrying causes? I know. It's bad, right? Worry in leadership sucks you dry! When you worry you take the Sovereignty of God away from Him and make Him as frail and capable of failure as you are. Let me help you out, whether in leadership or not, YOU WILL FAIL, hard and often. But God won't, in fact He is so the complete perfect that He takes our fails and makes than His successes (Genesis 45:4-8). Yep He's that good.


Players gonna play; Haters gonna hate. In leadership this is when we seek out anyway we cna downplay the success that others have, or highlight our successes in comparison to others failures. The point is to blow up our ego while shattering others. This is a common practice whether inside or outside leadership. One-Uping, humiliation, false humility, sarcasm can all be tools of the well versed hater (all of which I feel i am very good at, unfortunately). The Kryptonite to Hating is contentment. Being content where God has us and in doing exactly what He has called us to. After all it's all about Jesus any way. His glory not my name.