In Their Corner: Supporting Innovative Young Pastors

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.

12 thoughts on “In Their Corner: Supporting Innovative Young Pastors

  1. A young innovative pastor spends enough time questioning his call to ministry, his call to a particular church, his call to do the right things the right ways. The men in my path that have made the biggest differences in my life and ministry were the ones encouraging not the ones with criticism. Is it not the goodness of God that leads men to repentance? Not the baseball bat over the head. Also, interestingly enough, those who bring criticism to the table are in violation of so many other verses about how to treat one-another.
    The goal is the Kingdom. Mark 9: John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. “For he who is not against us is for us.” We must remember it is about the Kingdom not about my opinion.

  2. My heart breaks as I think about the need for such a post as this. How sad for our denomination and for those who are serving on the front lines of battle against Satan. Through the years I have seen so many godly, creative, talented young people leave our denomination because of criticism for being innovative or “on the cutting edge”. As I read or hear about them now, raising up generations of strong believers, I realize even more how much we’ve missed out. Sad that we’re missing out, but thankful for God’s kingdom that they didn’t throw in the towel. Instead, they found a place to serve and are doing so faithfully … and thriving. To God be the glory!!!!

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