Recently I had lunch with the senior pastor of a church in the “top-100” fastest growing churches in America.
The scope of the church’s ministry is impressive–multiple campuses, dozens of missionaries, hundreds coming to faith in Christ.
After chatting for a few minutes at the restaurant, some really serious chips ‘n guac arrived at our table, so I figured it was time to ask a tough question.
I was wondering whether he is perceived as an empire builder, and what criticism he faces for it. After all, people can’t resist reading the worst motives into a “successful” Christian leader, and shooting him/her down for it in the name of God.
“Yeah, all the time,” he said dryly. Like, of course.
“How do you reply to your critics?”
“That’s easy. I have a one word answer: Hell.”
“I believe in a real place called ‘Hell.’ And I believe that unless people place their faith in Jesus Christ as their savior, they will go to Hell.”
“So. . .”
“So that motivates me big time. I’ll do whatever it takes, within Biblical norms, to reach lost people. I’ll raise money, build buildings, preach sermons, create fantastic youth ministry space [see my post from last week], start new churches, take over dying churches. . . .”
There was fire in his eyes, urgency in his voice. He layed out a big vision, then asked me to come and do an event at the church.
I was in before the green guac was gone.
Friends, the power of vision–consistent, persistent, dynamic vision–is unstoppable.