“It seems that every young pastor thinks it’s necessary to reinvent everything—in their mind, only they can do it the right way.”
Why I Changed My Mind
It seems that every young pastor thinks it’s necessary to reinvent everything—because, in their mind, only they can do it the right way. They don’t need anyone else’s resources, so they create their own. Without realizing it, they are developing resources and spending considerable amounts of time doing it.
When I came to LifeWay, I was probably inclined to think that missional ministry was more about relationships, not resources; about doing, not reading.
But some wise leaders gave me this advice: Resources can help churches be on mission by allowing them to be better stewards of their time. Resources serve as tools to help us reach goals and reach them sooner than we ever could on our own.
So, now I help make resources.
One example is The Gospel Project, a gospel-centered, theologically driven small group curriculum. Today, less than four years after it was first released, more than a million people use a Gospel Project resource each week—from 12 Stone Church in Georgia to New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church to Valley Baptist in Bakersfield, California.
So, I’ve changed my mind on resources.
The Right Perspective
I’m grateful for the ability to work on resources that I believe have tremendous potential to influence the church.
In my experience, resources are what often motivate an individual to go out into his or her community with the gospel. Resources inspire people today and grow a legacy for tomorrow. Resources aren’t a substitute for people, but resources help us reach and serve people.
Don’t let pride keep you from asking what God has done elsewhere and if someone there might have already created the resource you need.
Keep focused on the goal—the gospel and the mission—but be willing to find and use the best tool that will help you get there.
Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham distinguished chair of church, mission and evangelism at Wheaton College and the Wheaton Grad School, where he also oversees the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism.