The Gap (Brought To You By Ed Stetzer)

Posted: October 26, 2009 in Daily Blog

As I have had some time to process the experiences we had at the Colorado Baptist Convention last week, I thought I would share a couple things that have been weighing on my mind.

The first day, Ed Stetzer, a nationally knows expert on church planting, revitalization and writer spoke to the pastors at the convention.  I loved what he was saying about the need for us to take notice that the things that used to work in the church world, no longer do in the ways we understand them to, and we have to refocus to revitalize.

he suggests we ask these questions: “What is the best expression of a New testament Church in our context?” and, “what do we need to do to best reach out to the community?”

He did a really good job encouraging all of us to think differently about how to lead churches in this day and age.  The funny part to me was the rest of the time we were there… It is like Ed packed up, headed out to his next thing and took all his ideas and thoughts with him.  We were left right back in the same place with people asking for the same things; more time, more people, more money, to do things the same way…  and we know what that way leads to, decline…

One of the best phrases Ed used that I heard before is, “People don’t change until the pain of change outweighs the pain of staying the same.”  So the motivation for all of us that lead churches needs to be, “how can I leverage the pain of staying the same to hurt more than the pain of changing?” That means we have to take a good, long, realistic look at what will happen if we do nothing, put it in words, and be sure we constantly refer to it during the hard times – not ignore it like it really doesn’t exist and by doing so widen the gap between decline and revitalization.

If we want to be a church that is reaching people who haven’t been reached – we better make sure we keep a healthy eye on getting comfortable and doing what we have always done.  Let’s stretch the limits, watch God show up, and see what putting ourselves in a little pain might lead to, my bet is it will be worth it.

  1. Jeff says:


    Thanks for the reminder that we need to constantly question how comfortable we are. Maybe our pain isn’t the question that should motivate us. Maybe it’s the pain of others that should concern us.

    It’s funny to me how our denominational leaders tend to ask internal questions,not external ones…


    Great comment! Love the “their pain” idea. What am I willing to sacrifice, give, or give up that might make me feel a little pain to help someone else get out of their pain? Like it!…


  2. Cecil Linke says:

    Great word my friend. Be sure and keep me in the loop of answers you are discovering to “unwind” this mess!

  3. jessetmclaughlin says:


    That’s great. It reminds of one of the first things I learned in sales training. When you “cold call” a customer, generally speaking they will tell you that everything is fine. So what you have to do is do a good job of defining where they actually are, then do a really good job of showing them what they could be/have/etc. and then really hit home the differences between the 2 (the gap). We actually called it creating the gap between present/future state.


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