July 9, 2010 by C.J. Mahaney
Categories: Local church
As the pastor of a local church for 27 years, I am deeply grateful for every person who, when they came to Covenant Life Church, remained for many years. Those who persevered through the years and were patient with me personally and patient with my deficiencies in preaching—it was these people who ultimately made the difference in the church and helped build the church. They demonstrated their love for the Savior through their enduring service.
That's how local churches are built. Local churches are built when humble servants commit, and remain, and serve, and do so over a period of years. Local churches are built by those Kevin DeYoung identified as “plodding visionaries.” In his message at our Next conference in May, Kevin DeYoung made this compelling point.
It is easy to blast the church for all her failures. It is harder to live in the church day after day, year after year, with all of the ho hum, hum drum, and to slowly and consistently make a difference.
What we need are fewer revolutionaries and a few more plodding visionaries. We need to ask the right questions, we need to have the right expectations, and we need to establish the right vision.…
Here is my burden for our generation: along with all of the necessary pleas we have to be earnest and intense and radical and sold out. With all of that, I just also want to wave the banner from Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise the days of small things.” That is what I mean by being plodding visionaries.
If you are a visionary, you don’t have your head in the sand. You are going somewhere. You are looking out. You are moving in a direction. But you are a plodder. One foot in front of the other.
Many of us are attracted to a Tasmanian Devil kind of Christianity…splattering, spinning around. You get fired up—praise God for that—and you spin out like the Tasmanian Devil ready to conquer the world for Christ and you blow up into a tree somewhere.
We need plodding visionaries.
When I wrote the book on the church I read nine books that called for a revolution. Every other day it seems like I read of a new manifesto. We may need to just simplify a little: Get on the right road and keep going.
Our generation in particular is prone to radicalism without follow-through. We want to change the world and we have never changed a diaper. You want to make a difference for Christ? Here is where you can start: this Sunday, volunteer for the nursery. Say, “Here I am, pastor. What can I do to serve?”
Without folks like this, Covenant Life Church would have never been built. No church can be built without plodding visionaries.
Kevin’s entire message, “The Church,” can be downloaded from the resource page at thisisnext.org.