February 06, 2008

The Difference Between

Being the assistant coach and the head coach is the difference between suggestion and decision. -- Bob Knight (February 5th, 2008)

There are many people who don't care at all for Bob Knight. Many think he is a bully. Many think he has severe emotional problems. Many think he was a giant hypocrite.

Whatever you think of him, his graduation rates were higher than anyone in college basketball. He never had any NCAA rules violations. His former players (most of them) spoke very highly of him. He had the respect of his former coaches (most of them). And as he himself would say in an interview yesterday, he wasn't sure he had done it all right, but he had done it the way he thought things ought to be done.

And inherent in doing things the way you think they ought to be done is the willingness to accept the criticism, the judgments, the failures, and the summaries of your work.

As I get ready to plant a church, this principle of suggestion and decision is becoming clear to me and I haven't made any really hard decisions yet. But the little ones that I am having to make over the last few days have made for interesting moments.

I've found myself stopping and almost being paralyzed. I'm normally a fairly decisive person but here the last few days I've found myself standing still wondering "Is this the right decision?" or "What if I'm making a mistake?" "Is this going to be the best thing for Eternity?" etc etc…

And when Bob Knight came out with the line I quoted above, I thought that's it. That's what the difference is between going into an established church as an associate pastor or starting a church as a lead planter. That's the difference between working "at a ministry" and beginning a new ministry work. That's the difference between "attending a church" and "overseeing a church".

The head coach takes the arrows. The head coach fields the questions. The head coach puts his livelihood on the line. The head coach gets written negatively about in the papers. The head coach gets judged.

And as each day goes by and little by little pieces get put in place for Eternity, I begin to feel that weight just a little bit more.

Even though the church will be led by a plurality of elders. Even though it will be a team effort. Even though it will take the contributions and sacrifice of hundreds of people one day, there will still be one guy who believed God had called him to plant a church, and a lot of the decisions that I'm making now will either significantly help Eternity in the future. Or it will significantly hinder Eternity in the future.

My appreciation and respect for church planters and lead pastors is growing rapidly. My trust in myself is decreasing fast. My reliance on God and His wisdom is booming.

Because now I've begun something where I'm not just going to be making suggestions. I'm going to be making decisions.

There's a big difference.

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