Fall 2022: RickThomas.Net Becomes LifeOverCoffee.Com
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My aim in working through these episodes is to help folks think through the church they attend, the leadership culture of their church, and, potentially, identify things that might not be apparent. I will not provide a “Monday morning play-by-play” critique. I hope you will gain personal insight through this review as well as applications to your teachers and the church you attend.
Mark Driscoll had a relationship with a church-planting pastor (David Nicholas) in Boca Raton, FL. The relationship went sour because Mark was a rogue, unaccountable Christian leader. This bonus episode is one more tack-on, redundant rendering about Mark being Mark. Christianity Today has shared this aspect of Mark’s character and personality repeatedly. I get it: Mark is a horse nobody can ride.
Unless you want to dip into a “reality TV” evangelical soap opera, this episode is not worth your time. Like many CT episodes, you would profit more by spending forty-five minutes in prayer and Bible study. It does not add value, especially since they have shared a version of this story many times.
Damaging Pride – The big idea in this episode is that any person, ministry, or business that does not have God-managed character or unique accountability can go off the rails. Interestingly, a lady in our church asked me that question Sunday. She talked about the growth of our ministry and how when such endeavors become larger, pride shows up to dismantle the work. She is correct.
Legacy Planning – It’s one of the reasons we’re in our legacy planning; I want my name off the website and ministry. The aim is to change the brand, remove the focus from me, and bring in those who can replace me while entrusting these plans to the Lord, of course (Proverbs 16:9). For example, I no longer supervise the academic aspect of our Mastermind Program. I continue to train our students but not academically.
Move to the Back – Humanly speaking, what hurts our ministry is that I’m not a big personality or front man. I’m a behind-the-scenes, low-profile person. I’ve never been interested in the spotlight. I shared with the lady on Sunday that I’m an introvert by nature; this news was a big surprise to her. A personality test would label me as such, and, of course, I could use that to form my identity.
Thankfully, I reject personality testing by replacing those psychological selfies with gospel awareness. After I became aware of the gospel, the Lord confronted me with the warning: you can keep your label and choose a lesser life, or you can’t repent of your introverted self-focus and go and make disciples. I chose repentance, though it has been hard for many reasons.
The fruition of these things did not take its current shape until I was forty-eight years old. This point is vital. The shaping of the Lord is a time-incubated process that can take decades. It’s those who want to hit their stride before their thirties that worry me.
Our most vital need is for financial supporters. If you can help us, will you? We are doing more, and people are asking for more. To keep up, we must hire more while developing the resources to meet the demand.