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.)