The fact is, most leaders struggle with wanting the approval and esteem of people. And, in brutal honesty, we look for these things because we don't have enough confidence or trust in the way God sees us. Often, leaders will talk about their faith, and other's needs for string faith, but actually lack the core faith to believe that no matter what people say, God sees me as good enough. Often we look more for the approval and validation of man rather than God. This is sinful and rooted directly in pride. We want self-esteem rather than Christ-esteem!
If your church is built on you and your personality and not on God's love and grace; you have not built a church, you've built a stage. Stages don't last, and stages never keep people's attention for long. But, the church stands forever and God captivates the hearts of all mankind for eternity!
God did something great here in spite of me. I did not do this, God did this in Grace Church.
"I am stoked to see where God takes us in this journey. God is testing us as much as He is testing you who are leaving us. We will rise to the challenge. My prayer for our church is that we keep growing stronger and God keeps shining down on us. You all are doing what He has called you to do. I've cried all I'm going to cry about losing you guys. I'm looking at this as a positive for al of us. You guys will change lives all over America and we will stay rooted here and continue changing lives through Grace. I refuse to let Michael's vision die...." Mellisa
"God has taught me or reaffirmed in me through you both: 1) I am forgiven not matter what, forgive others along the way too 2) to be bold for what I believe in 3) trust in Him no matter what 4) He is in full control no matter what is happening around us 5) He has a plan for us. 6) we are only at peace inside when we are letting Him live through us on a moment by moment basis 7) it's not a one time decision to follow Jesus, but a daily decision and a life long journey." Brandon
"Pastor Michael, You and I have never officially met. I have been coming for a few months now quietly, usually by myself towards the back of the church. After self destructing my life about a year ago, I've gone through a great deal of transition and turmoil in my own life. I was a youth minister, a man of god, a husband, and a father. I had an extramarital affair that cost me everything, including my job in ministry and in the world. I had the opportunity to come for the last few months and I can honestly say that there is a huge change in my life. I have a new job, a new church to call my home, and I have restored relationships with many of those whom I hurt, including working towards getting back together with my now ex wife. God is working in my life and I honestly believe that he was working through you in the ministry to help me reset my life and get back on the track that I am supposed to be on. I know your decision to leave is most difficult. I have great faith that you will succeed and strive in your new position to bring life into countless numbers of others in your new church, just as you have in many lives here, including mine. I apologize that I did not have the opportunity or make the time to seek you out and get to know you better. I can however tell that you truly are a great man of god and His favor will be with you always. I pray nothing but favor for you and your family. May God bless your steps. Thank you for more than you could ever possibly imagine." C.B.
It is not about me. It is not about you. It is about what God can do if we ask Him. It is about how God changes lives, we don't change lives. Pastors....Keep your eyes, your message and your heart set on Jesus. Build your church on the grace, love and freedom of Jesus....And be sure you build His church and not our stage!