Thirty years ago when I was picking up the plow of pastoring, I tried some things that were different, a few of which worked, a few of which didn’t. My church gave me freedom to innovate, and over the years God blessed our efforts. To my amazement, the process was marked by sniper fire from certain figures in the very denomination I was trying to serve. I quickly learned to listen to divine guidance rather than denominational grievance. So we pressed on without looking back.
But I thought it was a shame that seasoned leaders wouldn’t stand in the corner of a young pastor who was trying his best to find ways of winning people to Jesus and growing a church for Christ and His Kingdom.
It was a shame then, and it’s a shame now.
Looking back, I’m grateful for the handful of leaders who did speak up and support me. I wouldn’t be a denominationalist now without those men and women whom I revere to this day.
Churches in America are fighting an uphill battle to win people to Christ. This is not the time to aim potshots at innovative young pastors, as long as their message and their morality is sound, and souls are coming to Christ under their ministry. Let’s offer the benefit of a doubt, give them time to grow and mature, pray for their success, and stand in their corner with a towel, water bottle, and a strong word of encouragement.