The Dangers Of Competency

In recent weeks, I have been nostalgic for the attitude and spirit I had when pastoring at Mt. Carmel Church in Monroe from 1990-1999.

It was a small church tucked in an out-of-the-way location. The only way you drove by the church was if you were going to the church. We didn’t get many first time guests who simply saw the church while driving by it on their way to work.

So I was a brand new pastor, fresh out of seminary, and this was my first assignment. I knew that if there was to be any kind of momentum, growth, or spirit, it would have to come directly from the hand of God. Because of that, my prayers were focused and urgent and my great desire was for the people of that church & community to have a real hunger for God.

In other words, because I knew I was not in control, I was eager for God to take control.

And to a surprising degree, He did.

Good Shepherd Church is so different. We have one of the best locations in Charlotte. We have state-of-the-art facilities and technology. We get a lot of “drive by business” — people who come to the church because they pass it every day in their cars. And I’m surrounded by a number of very talented people. We know that a lot of what we do in terms of worship and programming is very good (we also know all the areas that aren’t so good, but that’s another post).

In other words, we’re in control. We’re competent. And I’ve been doing this for enough years that in most areas of ministry, I’m competent.

But I long to be desperate. I long to know again that I’m not in control. I long for prayers that are focused and urgent and for my desire for this church not for it to be cutting edge but for the people in it to have a real hunger for God.

Starting with me.

Because I want to be in the middle of a move of God. A sovereign, decisive, unmistakable yet inexplicable move of God among the people of this church and this community.

That sure is better than being competent.