You’ve got to be who you are. You’ve got to be true to yourself. God called you. If you’re not you, there will be a whole group of people in your town that are never going to be reached because God called you because he knew you were tuned to the same pitch as those people.
I don’t worry anymore about whether someone leaves our church to go to another church. I have realized that another church can’t get my people because my people don’t leave. My people want to be with me. If somebody else goes somewhere else, it’s because they’re somebody else’s people. And it’s okay! I don’t sweat bullets anymore. That is entirely liberating to me. We tend to want to build a fence around people. We’ve got to learn to let God bring you the people he has for you to reach. You get a whole lot more when you’re open handed than when you’re insecure.
You’ve got to be yourself. Don’t try to fit somebody else’s mold. Sure, I borrow series from other pastors all the time, and folks will come pat me on the back and say, “Pastor, that was the most awesome message.” And I don’t tell them, “Go thank Tim Keller,” or, “Go thank Chris Hodges." (I don’t tell them anything other than in a little bit at the beginning of a series. “Special thanks this week to so-and-so for inspiration.” But that’s the disclaimer for the whole six weeks.) But you know what? I can’t do it like they do it. I’ve got to be authentic to me. I’ve got to work hunting stories in there. Borrow, but make it your own.
October 10 2014