A Letter to Leaders Feeling the Missional Call

As a pastor that has left the profession to help build a missional tribe and then returned to a dying traditional model to help revive a missional heart there, I am no stranger to taking risks.  I would like to encourage others of you out there who God maybe calling to head in a missional direction.  If you are considering taking your congregation from a program driven to a people development model, but are worried about what that move might mean for you and your family, do not be afraid.  The following letter is to you.

Dear Pastor, 

When people would ask my six year old what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would smile real big and proudly respond, “I want to be a pastor like my daddy.”  Once it became clear that creating a missional tribe was going to cost me my job, his face, his smile, those words haunted my thoughts.  How could I tell him I was no longer a pastor?  How could I explain I’m a secretary in an office building? 

Eight months went be before I told him. 

I know your fears.  I know the thoughts that are keeping you up at night.  I know the questions that fill your times of meditation and prayer.  I had them too. 

But if you are like me, you did not become a pastor for the money, for the influence, or for the position.  You became a pastor in obedience because you felt called by God.  I know you love the church.  I know you want what is best for her.  If God is now calling you again, if He is tugging on your heart toward a missional renaissance, push aside your fears, press through the anxiety of the unknown, trust your future to Him, and do what is best for His bride.  Do not be afraid. 

Yes, it might cost you your job.  Yes, it is going to be hard.  Yes, people are going to call you crazy and leave.  Yes, you are going to struggle to find a new career.  Yes, yes, yes to all your fears.  Yes.  But has following the Spirit ever been easy?  Has He ever asked you to do something that did not cost you everything?  The greater the cost the more clearly we will see Him on the road because when we sacrifice of ourselves for His bride we are most like Him.  Do not be afraid. 

I implorer you, do not let worry and fear hold you back.  Surrender your security.  Lay your job down on the alter.  Have faith that He will care for your needs.  Have faith that He will provide for you family.  Be the leader God has called you to be.  Do not be afraid. 

I promise, the resurrection you will experience on the other side of the sacrifice is worth it. 

With love and admiration, 

Jeff Elkins

A Letter to Leaders Feeling the Missional Call

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