What I Was Waiting To Hear!

Exponential Conference

I really enjoy going to conferences.  There are so many amazing stories to hear and it’s great to see God at work across the nation and world.  I almost always leave refreshed and excited to go and chase all kinds of crazy ideas.  That’s what I love about conferences!

However, there is something that I have been waiting to hear.  It is overlooked at almost every conference (at least the ones I have been to).  It is a topic that goes beyond missional, attractional, traditional, denominational, non-denominational, small-group driven, purpose driven (should I continue?), etc.

My point is this; there is an issue that goes well beyond all of these methods and styles of doing church.  I have been waiting to hear someone at a major conference say, “It’s not about any of this stuff.  It’s more about whether or not you’re Godly.”

Well, I finally got what I was waiting for.

I sat in on a workshop by Matt Chandler, lead Pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, Texas.  It was obvious that God had given him a very specific message to say to me.

His message was this…

Why are you trying to be Francis Chan?  Why do you want to be the next Rick Warren?  Why are you striving to be Matt Carter or Dave Ferguson?  God loves you for who you are right now!  God doesn’t love the future you more because ten years down the road, you will have a big church like some other guy.  God loves you right where you are, right now.  Stop trying to be everyone else!

He basically asked us, “How well do you understand and apply the Gospel to your own life?”  And you know the answer to that question by asking five others (I don’t have all five unfortunately).  Questions like; are you violent towards sin?  Are you utmost in your own affections?  When you screw up, do you run away from or toward God?

The questions were pointed and direct.  He was passionate and animated.  He got off track at times in order to do more than stick with notes and fit into a conference workshop box.  He was preaching.  He was preaching the Word of God and he was bringing the Gospel to a room full of pastors.  And I was so excited that someone was finally saying what I had been wanting to hear.  The difference was that Matt Chandler says it far better than I ever could.

My goal in life should not be to become the next big-church pastor.

My goal in life should not be to be the next main session speaker at a conference.

My goal in life should be to become Godly, holy and more like Christ.

I was so excited to hear someone release me from the pressure of being like one of those guys on the stage.  That’s not what I’m here to do or become.  I am here to do the will of the Father who has given me a task to do and has given me exactly what I need in terms of gifts, talents, background and education to accomplish just that.

Thank you Mr. Chandler, for saying what I have been wanting to hear so desperately.

Thank you for allowing God to use you to preach!

If you haven’t heard Matt yet, I would encourage you to do so.  Beyond a God-given talent to preach, he has such an inspiring story of strength and faith.  God is using him in a big way!

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About Stan Rodda

Follower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.

Posted on April 30, 2011, in bible, Church, Church Planting, conferences, discipleship, disciplines, God, Jesus, Life, practical ministry, story, the culture. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think our church culture can easily breed those types of desires. I theorize that Donald Miller’s success enabled every Christian to feel like they could be the next big author. And who doesn’t want to be on stage getting religious glory? That’s as high as it gets. So good message (though of course easy for him to say being a very successful pastor!)

    • I agree. We don’t put the guys on stage or in books who have been ministering for 20 years, being faithful, but only have 6 conversions in that time frame. We glorify our “elite” similar to what we do with Hollywood in my opinion. I was very thankful for what Matt said.

  2. This is good stuff Stan! Down through the years I have gone to conference after conference, often coming away feeling defeated because i was not in the same league as the guys who spoke. i felt inferior. Why not me? I missed the whole point. It wasn’t about the next big thing. It was about the new work God wanted to do in me. You are right on one thing Stan: Matt has a story to tell after the cancer and operation. I don’t know the full story but would like to know. Thanks for the good reminder.

    • Thanks, Bill. He does have a great story to tell. I think having brain cancer and nearly dying, has prompted him to be very passionate about the fact that life is short and we have a lot of work to do. He doesn’t hold anything back, he just lays it all on the line when he’s preaching. I love listening to him. And I have always felt the way you are describing as well. I tried not to be, but that’s what I thought I was supposed to become. No one ever gave me permission not to be one of those guys.

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