Become a “teaching hospital”? HECK YES! This vision of church leadership was shared with me by a mentor of mine this past month. Michael Fletcher, the Senior Pastor of Manna Church, is one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around. He passionately encouraged us to not just think of leading others but leading THROUGH others. The difference between the two is found in the difference between hospitals and teaching hospitals. Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, Chicago Hope, House and ER are not only TV shows that have great impacted my life 🙂 they are shows the paint a picture of how the church needs to operate. Of how my church needs to operate. Each of these shows depict a teaching hospital and I’m convinced this is what Jesus had in mind when he called you to plant your church. If you do some research on what a teaching hospital is, it’s doctors doing medicine through up and coming doctors. I consider this exponential medicine.
Here are 4 ways to becoming more of a “teaching hospital”:
- Don’t Be the Hero, Be a Hero Maker.
A couple weeks ago, Dave Ferguson tweeted this statement and it’s 100% on point. So often our insecurity as pastors is the main issue with why our churches stall out and get stuck. We think, “I need to be needed”…really?!? Please stop…just stop. Get a dog or a cat or something, but let go of this “need” idol. It’s holding you and your church back. Church Leadership is not about YOU being the hero or the next keynote at Exponential.
- Commission the Common.
Create a culture that says, you can do this. If your church culture implies you have to go to Seminary (which isn’t a bad thing) or have to have everything in your life together or have to be on staff to make an impact, you will never become a “teaching hospital” kind of church. We need to commission the common person and actually lead as if we believe the priesthood of ALL believers. One of my favorite things I’ve heard lately comes from the more tropical Mission Church out in Ventura, CA. The Lead Pastor, Mike Hickerson says, “Tell me what a volunteer can’t do?” He goes on to emphasize that with adequate training and time, there is NOTHING a volunteer can’t do. This is brilliant leadership and one of the best ways we can become more of a teaching hospital. Good work Mike!
- Resist Perfectionism.
This one is really tough for me. I have a high value on doing things well because I’m of the persuasion that “excellence honors God and inspires people.” Thanks Hybels 🙂 Here’s the deal…if we’re not careful that can massively reduce the amount of people we raise up and mobilize into ministry. If you’re waiting for someone to do it as good as you do it, you might be waiting the rest of your life. One of my favorite principles comes from Wayne Cordeiro when he said, if someone can do it 80% as good as you, let them do it. Right now, who can you apprentice to do what you are currently doing?
- Adjust Your Speed.
One of the reasons we don’t lead THROUGH others is because we’re maniacs. Ok, I’m a maniac. We run so hard and so fast that those we’re apprenticing pull their hammies trying to catch up. I’m not advocating ½ hearted work or effort, what I am advocating is for you and I slow the heck down. To become a “teaching hospital” kind of church we have to learn how to walk with others. Last time I checked, Jesus said “come follow me” not come run with me.
If we are ever going to see a Movement of Jesus in our lifetime, we have to make this shift. We need to start making them the hero, focusing on their platform and give them access into our lives. May this kind of multiplying, reproducing, training culture take root in our churches for the good of our neighborhoods and for the glory of God