The church world is full of experts. Ever since the church growth movement began, there has been a rise in the number of “experts” that church leaders listen to. For church growth is was Willow Creek. For leadership today the expert is Andy Stanley. For church statistics it is the Barna Group. For church issues some may say its Carey Neuhoff or Thom Rainer. For small church issues, I argue that our expert is Karl Vaters and newsmallchurch.com. Chances are as an average pastor, you are looking to the experts to help you lead and grow your church. I appreciate these leaders. I have learned from many of them. But I realized this week that there is one expert that we as average pastors tend to neglect.
What is an expert?
I am a bit of an education nerd. Many years ago God put it in my heart to become a PhD. So for the past few years I have worked toward this. I have a bachelors and a masters in Theology and I am working on a PhD. The goal of doctoral work is to become an expert on one small particular point of theology that no one else has studied or published about. What a PhD says about you is that when it comes to your topic, you are the expert. People can talk about similar issues as you, but on your particular issue, you are the one who knows best on the subject.
You have a PhD in your church!
Who knows your church the best? Chances are YOU do! You certainly can learn about church matters from the experts mentioned above. But the reality is that you are no different than them. They became an expert through the process of becoming an expert in their own churches. All of Andy Stanley’s wisdom comes from becoming an expert in being the Pastor of NorthPoint. All he is doing is telling his story. Pastor, you are expert on your church. You know the history better than anyone else. You know the strength and weaknesses. You know the people assests. You know your community. A great pastor is one who becomes an expert, not on the principles that make Andy Stanley’s church work, but on what makes your church work. When it comes to the church you pastor, nobody is better equipped to know what your church needs than you.
“A great pastor is one who becomes an expert, not on the principles that make Andy Stanley’s church work, but on what makes your church work.”
It is time for you to start listening to yourself! You are an expert! Lead with confidence. He didn’t pick Andy Stanley to lead your church. He picked you. Listen to your own heart for what God has for your church. Trust your own instincts and expertise. Embrace yourself as the person who is best equipped to know what your church needs. God has made YOU the expert. He will help you lead your church into what He has planned for you.