Matt Chandler – Leadership Conference for Pastors in the UK Part 2

Matt Chandler at the Leadership Event in the UK. May 2010. Chandler begins by recounting his journey becoming pastor of Higland Village Church in Texas, a church that tried to implement a Willow Creek model and did that badly anyways.  He talks about the beginnings of the church and 2 of the things they tried to range right away was 1) making use of the Bible (practically no one was carrying or using their Bible) and 2) The way they did worship music (Apparently for a small church of approx. 40 people there were 12 people at the front leading elaborate worship productions. He talks about how they scrapped the Willow Creek model when he accepted the position and about his own challenge that his pastoral staff seemed to stop shepherding once the church got “big”. As Chandler puts it, his staff was telling people, “This is what we believe, if you don’t like it, go find another church.” He gathered his staff and asked of them to continue the “shepherding” in the same spirit as when they first started out because that is what the word of God models. Other points from the conference session with UK pastors from 2 Timothy  2:20-3:9:

  • “Flee youthful passions”. Sanctification does not happen only at conversion. It is a growing process. Most of you will be caught by pursuing a little too much sport, leisure and television.
  • “Pursue righteousness.” I’ve learned that guys are really good enough to deceive themselves.  Chandler is talking just about Pastors here. Pastors ca know so much from the Bible that they can very quickly justify wicked thoughts and feelings as if they don’t need to be dealt with. You need to be aware. You have these moments that God has given to you so that you might walk in repentance and draw nearer to Him, in them. You pursue righteousness by having the Holy Spirit reveal to you unrighteousness and the desire to put that unrighteousness to death.
  • Pursue faith. Kings-People who have great organizational skills should not run the church. The priests and the prophets run the church, with help from kings. When kings run the church, you are operating not from faith but for the bottom line (profit). From my own journey, I know that God will often ask you to jump off a cliff before He will give you a parachute. You have to hear from the Holy Spirit and walk out in faith.
  • “Pursue love”. Are you growing in your love for the saints? Are you able to rejoice with people who rejoice and mourn with people who mourn? Ever got caught thinking of someone who died, “Well the way he was going, it’s no surprise.” What a wicked way to think that he deserved that and I don’t. Are your people a nuisance to you? You should be pursuing constant growth of love for the people God has given you care of.
  • “Pursue peace”. Are you pursuing peace? Pursuing peace isn’t as peaceful as it sounds. Pursuing peace is seeing where there are issues and engaging it. By far, the biggest problem in pastoral ministry  is cowardice; men who are unwilling to have the conversations that need to be had.
  • You shouldn’t be doing all that pursuing by yourself. Run the risk of trusting others and not isolating yourselves as pastors. You need other people. You need people that can speak into your lives in two ways: 1) To encourage you and 2) To call you out. Are you pretending that you are the one man in Christendom that doesn’t need to be engaged over things in his life?  Nobody handles that well. All of us need it. So, if you build your church as if you’re the king and you can’t be questioned, you have simply set yourself up for a fall. Everyone should be able to respectfully engage you. We (Chandler) have a church of 8,000 across 3 campuses, and I can be questioned by anyone on my staff. Anyone on my staff can come into my office on Monday and Wednesday, knock on my door and say, “Hey Matt, can I ask a question? Can you explain why we do it this way, or that way?” When we roll out things to our churn, to our staff; we roll it out first in a draft form, allow them to push back and then roll out a revised document, once they’ve pushed back on it. We don’t tell them, “This is how things are gonna be around here”. We go, “According to the Scriptures, here’s how we’re going to implement what the Scriptures command,” and then they get to push back on it and then we get a better document. We want push back. We ask for it. And that’s  staff of 100.
  • “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies for you know they breed quarrels”. I’ve done university settings with atheists and agnostics. I’ve done some of that and I am never getting into dumb arguments. So, in the end, I don’t want to argue silly things with our people. I’m just not going to do it and I am not going to get into these endless debates that have no end. Now, there are debates ending with me going one way and you going the other. But Paul says here in regards to shepherding, “If you’ve got a guy here who’s just ignorant or quarrelsome, just don’t, don’t…
  • “and the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone”. The man of God wields a scalpel, not a club. We are spiritual surgeons by trade. If your default is “war” you might need to go do something else, otherwise you will wound a lot of people God has given you authority over and in the end you are supposed to be kind and loving. You shepherd people with kindness. Even when you point out to people where they are wrong, you don’t do it aggressively. You do it in a way that is kind and compassionate and speaks to them the love of Christ. There are definitely situations, though, where that does not apply.
  • “able to teach”. One of the things we are finding out is that the people sitting in front of us don’t know as much as we think they know. So, they will disagree sometimes, without knowing why they disagree. Sometimes they think it just doesn’t sound right to them. So, instead of getting frustrated that they are challenging your theology, it just means it goes back to your teaching them. The reason they are confused is that they have not been taught well. The man of God must be able to teach. We must be able to unpack them the nature and character of God and we have to spot the arguments they’re hearing and teach around them.
  • “we have to patiently endure evil”. Sinners, when confronted on their sin, will almost always lash out at the people who have confronted their sin.  So, you have to patiently endure evil as a Pastor which means you are going to be attacked and accused of things that are not true. There are jabs and attacks that we have to endure as pastors. We are to patiently suffer evil, which means that I am not afraid of war. If there are things that have to be fought for, but I don’t relish them, I don’t look for them and I don’t go to war over something that can be cleared up over a cup of coffee. So, I AM NOT PREACHING A SERMON TO 8,000 PEOPLE TO TALK TO ONE GUY. Ok? I’m just going to coffee with the one guy.
  • Practical application to shepherding your people to truth:
  1. When someone is outside the bounds of truth I want to give them texts to read. I’m not going to resolve it over just one cup of coffee. It is my role (here) to shift what you believe theologically.  (it is one (role) of many). So I give them texts to go home and read and talk to them about later. And I give them some questions to look at as they study the Bible. You shepherd people to truth by using truth (Bible) to shepherd.
  2. Listen to people and don’t listen to respond. When people have an aversion to truth, it’s almost always because they are personally affected by that truth. If you will listen, you will find most of the time that doctrine is not the issue. There is some other issue. You can then minister to their heart and then you’ll find their aversion to the truth, not as strong.
  3. Don’t let yourself be a champion of a doctrine. Be a champion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that goes after the heart and not just after the mind. You need to listen to what’s going on in this person’s east that makes something that is beautiful and true sound ugly to them.
  4. Be patient. Progressive sanctification is a dirt path. It is not a super highway. People grow like your kids grow. You can stare at your kids 24/7 and never see them grow. Yet, one morning our kid comes downstairs and you wonder, “When did he get tall like that?” Progressive sanctification is a slow moving thing. It means you have to patiently walk with people. Some people for an extended period of time. I keep telling my people do keep digging in the Bible. Once they’re digging in the Bible, I am not worried anymore. So, patience and love and respect and kindness and not being quarrelsome. Some doctrines it took me years to like them. Some doctrines I believed before I liked them. There have been times that I have come across something in Scripture that I just went, “Aghh…” in my own heart in regards to where I was and B, then having to communicate that truth. One of my favorite things about preaching through the books of the Bible is that it will force your hand. It will make you preach the full counsel of God. There have been times I’ve known it was right, but I didn’t like it for a couple of years, and then had the Lord woken me up. So how dumb are you to go through that growth and then demand that everyone love it (instantly). So, you’ve got to keep in mind progressive sanctification. It’s progressive and it’s slow. Now that’s not always true (though). Every once in a while God gives you that gift of that one person that is immediately converted and just drinks it all in and just overnight becomes unreal. But most of the time it is a real slow process, that over years you start to really see fruit, life change and a passion for the Lord
  5. Last thing on practicality. You work diligently and passionately  concerning your own spiritual life. It’s easier to say hard things to people if your life is marked by humility, gentleness and submission to God. It is easier for people to hear hard things from you if they know they’re loved by you and they know you’ve been willing to do the same. Your people are going to mirror you to some extent. Now, that should terrify you in one way and push you into the Lord in another.

Uploaded on Vimeo by Jubilee Church in May 2010 300 Conference (Session 2)

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Matt Chandler in the UK Part 1 « agnus dei – english + romanian blog
  2. Trackback: Matt Chandler in the UK Part 1 « agnus dei – english + romanian blog
  3. Trackback: Matt Chandler Live Webcast Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm EDT « agnus dei – english + romanian blog
  4. Trackback: Matt Chandler SERMONS – New Blog Page Created « agnus dei – english + romanian blog

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