Friday, October 5, 2007

Founding Pastor

Mark was an energetic lover of God. He was 32 when he felt led to launch out into church planting. He had graduated from a great seminary and had been on staff at one of the most innovative churches in the land. Not only was he academically smart, he was well liked by his peers and was known for his passion for people and Jesus. He was an excellent communicator, visionary, and capable administrator. Essentially he had it all and not only did he talk the talk but he walked the walk.

Mark settled down to his task of reaching a thriving community that had few churches. His disarming personality and genuine passion soon brought in a core group of new believers. Mark was actually quite dispassionate about believers coming in. He didn’t want somebody else’s religious baggage interfering with the young Christians that he was discipling.

The new church experienced unprecedented growth and people were thrilled that they had such a dynamic pastor leading them. The core group of believers that Mark had first reached were the key leaders in the church and everyone was excited about what God was going to do next. Mark never seemed to run out of fresh ideas while at the same time he didn’t overload the church with too much change.

Mark had been at the church for 20 years. Things had never been better and miraculously the church had not lost its original mandate of reaching the lost. But something happened to Mark that was to have a significant change on his relationship with the church.

Without seeking after this experience, Mark was flooded with an incredible joy that overflowed with him speaking a new language. Mark was shocked and knew that this was what the Bible called speaking in tongues. He had never been one to bad mouth this experience but it was still well known that his church wasn’t into that kind of stuff. They were a practical, loving church that was truly interested in reaching their world for Jesus.

Now Mark had a dilemma. He now knew that he had been naïve and wrong about tongues. Surely his leaders would understand that he couldn’t help what God was doing. Besides he was the one that had nurtured them and taught them the fundamentals of the faith. So in his naïve zeal, Mark exuberantly let the church know he spoke in tongues.


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