Not a Church Expert

When reading material designed to help Churches, I am often surprised to read the word expert. And yet it is something you see repeatedly. For example, some writers are considered “Church Growth Experts,” while others specialize and become “Volunteer Coordination Experts, Guest Services Experts,” and “Public Speaking Experts.”

When someone is labeled an expert, they are an authority in that field. This is because they have comprehensive knowledge of a particular area of Christian work.

The problem I see after 29 years of ministry is that there are no experts in the Church world. Sure, some people have a large amount of knowledge gained from their experiences, but they are not experts.

This is because the Church is ever-changing as culture changes. Jesus remains the same, but the methods we use are modified year after year. Not only that, every congregation is unique and placed in a specific location. Every Church is one of a kind.

Over the past 20 years, I watched a man plant a Church with great success. People labeled him as a “Church Planting Expert.” Eventually, he left that first Church to start another one in a different town in another place in the country. His second Church has been struggling for almost ten years and is no larger in attendance than the Church I lead. All the dynamics were different, and the results were not nearly identical.

I am wary of anyone who is labeled as an expert. I try to learn from them, but just because something worked for them might not mean it will work for you.

The best thing to do when you have an idea for the Church you attend is to begin with prayer. First, see where God is leading YOU. Then ask some friends, read a book, listen to a podcast, gather wise information, and talk to the leadership. Then pray again and see if God is still laying it on your heart. If so, go and serve the Lord your own way, no matter what the experts say. Quite often, the experts are all wrong.


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