OK, But Define Negative People

kinnon —  February 28, 2007 — 6 Comments

I subscribe to Ed Young Jr’s Creative Leaders Newsletter. Partially because I need the increase in my blood pressure (I tend to run a little on the low side) and sometimes because it provokes a blog post. (I must need a little more provocation, lately.)

Jr.’s mighty impressed with his recent Creative Church Conference and he’s written to tell me all about it. Thanks, Jr.

One of the things he does in his newsletter is talk about what he thought were the high points from his guests, TD Jakes, Craig Groeschel (of money-back tithing fame), Ed Young Sr and Mark Driscoll.

Jr. loved Driscoll’s comment on negative people:

When asked about negative people in the church, Mark Driscoll made a perfect analogy by comparing them to referees — they like to wear their striped shirt, blow their whistle, and call fouls, but they never really play in the game. He said that they care about things that nobody else does, not even God.

OK, Jr. and Mark, define negative for me. (And Mark, perhaps you could exegete those things that God doesn’t care about for the rest of us.) Are the negative people those who disagree with you and confront you about that – (kinda like Paul did with Peter over the whole circumcision thang.) Jr., perhaps it’s a continuation of the statement you made three C3’s ago – on the old accountability issue. (Read the comments on that post – particularly those of Ashley Hodge and the commenter who needs to remain unknown.)

You see, guys, if you don’t mind me saying this (and I’m sure you do), it’s very easy to brand people who disagree with you as negative. It’s easy to ignore people who don’t agree with every word that flows from your elegant lips (elegant in at least Jr.’s case – Mark is affectionately known as the “cussin’ pastor,” after all). Sometimes you ignore these folk to the detriment of your ministry and the church.

Sadly, your response may be “Well Bill, how many people do you have coming to your church?” Which kind of reminds me of Stalin’s response to the question of the power of the Pope – “How many divisions does he have?” I’ll let you unpack that one for yourselves. (BTW, I too am only infallible when speaking ex cathedra.)

And hey, forgive me for being negative. But I do rather like the striped shirt and the whistle.

UPDATE: Somehow Emerging Grace’s latest post just seems to fit with this post of mine. (At least in my ADDled brain.)

Technorati Tags: , , , ,



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

6 responses to OK, But Define Negative People

  1. So Driscoll says negative people are those who “never really play the game.”

    There may be something to that, depending on what exactly the game is.

  2. Heh, heh, heh

  3. Far from defending Young or Driscoll, I know exactly who they are talking about. I’ve had them in my churches. When they went away made we called it a “backdoor revival” – they were egotistical pharisees who majored in minor issues that I can guarantee God didn’t care about… the model of car the pastor drove (not flashy), the kind of music he listened to in his office (not Led Zeppelin), the kind of people he hung around with (the ocassional beer drinker). One of them even stood up at a church meeting and suggested that we would be better served keeping the church closed from Monday to Saturday because we wouldn’t want to get God’s house dirty.

    Other than the development of my character, can you suggest one good reason why we should give these people the time of day? Jesus never did.

  4. Brian,
    None of the people you’ve had to deal with would get past the phalanx of people around Driscoll and Young. I would suggest that these aren’t the people they are talking about – based on other comments and stories – see the problems Driscoll created with his “Ted Haggard’s wife” comments last November.

    These guys live in a “do not touch the Lord’s annointed” world and brand folk who disagree with them as “negative”. I’ve had the pleasure of working with men like them in other churches – and trust me, its their way or the highway. This problem is endemic in the Western Church and I would suggest has caused more damage than the negative people you’ve encountered.

    But that is just my opinion. I’m not speaking ex cathedra here. ;-]

  5. I’m with you, man. Can you tell me where I can get one of those phalanxes?

  6. I think they’re available under “Armor Bearers R Us” under the “People Who Won’t Think for Themselves” directory. The cool thing is you don’t have to pay them. Just occasionally give them a disdainful nod and they are happy little puppies. (They really love the Secret Service ear bud communicators, too.)


What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.