I recently read this pastoral apology. It humbled me and resonated with our desire to create innovative, expansive whole world disciples.
"As pastors and ministry leaders within the local church, we have believed and operated with the mindset that all ministries were church related and that they were to be under its government and control. As a result we have used people to build our churches and ministries.
In doing so we have not honoured those called by God to minister in business, media, arts, government, social services, and most other occupations outside the influence of the organised church. If individuals could not or would not serve our vision for our churches, we undervalued them as less important but accepted them as sources of income.
As pastors and ministry leaders, we want to tell you that we have been wrong.
What we have talked and demonstrated for generations within the church has been shallow and selfish. We are sincerely sorry, and we come in repentance for our bad attitudes, wrong beliefs, and our poor behaviour towards you.
Please forgive us.
We honour you as kingdom people, called by God to supply the destiny of a community. We believe you are ordained by God to transform the area of culture to which you have been called. We release honour, blessing, and favour on your life and personal calling to bring life.
We as pastors and ministry leaders are prepared to stand with you and support you in your God-given ministries. You have dreams ordained by God. It is our privilege and hearts desire to call them forth and to see you fully established in the destiny of your life."
It represents a small but significant step in moving beyond building churches to leading the whole community into life. It moves us beyond recruiting volunteers for our thing and towards releasing the divine dream over everything.
I, for one, am grateful for their humility, example and belief that we were made for more.