In the post, Mike examines another blog post from a “radical” church planter. At one point (point #8), the “church planter” says this:
8. If you think this will be a nice little church that stays the same size, where everybody knows your name and you have my cell number on speed dial and we have a picnic lunch together every week (By Godâ€™s grace, we want to grow).
Mike rightly points out some of the flaws in this statement when he says:
Through this preemptive strike, [this church planter] is laying the groundwork for handling complaints about the lack of pastoral care that will inevitably become common because leaders are so involved in the mission that they donâ€™t have time to visit people in the hospital. He is preparing people for the day when congregation members can no longer talk to him personally. One day they will have to go through layers of administrative bureaucracy and probably still wonâ€™t be able to get an appointment because he wonâ€™t be the one who deals with the hoi polloi any longer. Heâ€™s innoculating them with a view to the day they will be stricken with longing for when they felt like a church family, when they knew the others around them, when they didnâ€™t feel like someone who bought a ticket for a show in the city auditorium. Heâ€™s preparing them with the first of many pronouncements that complaints wonâ€™t be tolerated about the direction of the church and the decisions of her leaders, because, after all, we have a mission, we are dedicated to that mission, God is blessing that mission by causing us to grow, and therefore we all need to just put our big pants on and get with the program.
(If you want to read all of the original points from the church planter and all of Mike’s responses, use the link above.)
I just have one more point to add to Mike’s critique: If someone cannot get in touch with you, then you are not pastoring that person. If someone cannot spend one-on-one time with you, then you are not pastoring that person. It seems fairly simple to me.