Have you ever known anyone who has had a crack in the foundation of their home? It can be a very nerve-racking experience waiting for the professionals to give their assessment. A major crack can cost a homeowner around $4,000, and if the homeowner does not address the crack, it can compromise the structural integrity of the whole home over time. That can cost tens of thousands to fix as well as create an unsafe place to live.
Over the years, I've had the opportunity to work with dozens of people as they planted churches. It is my observation that people who don't take the cracks in the foundation of their character seriously end up doing the most damage to people around them, even if their church survives. Don't get me wrong; most of these planters are good people with great intentions. But when cracks in character are left unaddressed, it puts an entire structure at risk. I've also witnessed people try to address cracks with home remedies or short term solutions. Things may go a bit better for awhile, but eventually damage occurs there too.
The truth is we reproduce who we are. Planters who are willing to address what is really going on in their souls are the ones who end up planting the best churches.
For someone who wants to take the cracks in their soul seriously, here are a couple thoughts for you to consider:
Monitoring Your Emotional Temperature
Do you know a guy in your church...he attends every week, gives faithfully, and generally knows his Bible. But when you get to know him you find out that most people don't enjoy his company. Why? Although he knows all the right answers, he hurts people with his emotional immaturity. He typically cannot handle criticism and everything ends up being about him.
We are called to do the hard work of monitoring our own emotional temperature because we are thermostats that set every room we are in.
This can be us as planters and pastors. We can be doing all the right things for the Lord but not paying attention to the cumulative impact of our disappointments, hurts, and frustrations. If we aren't willing to work through these we will end up hurting people by lashing out or by distancing ourselves from them. We are called to do the hard work of monitoring our own emotional temperature because we are thermostats that set every room we are in.
Find a Mirror
If we are going to be leading and ministering to others, it's only a matter of time before we offend and hurt people. There are things about the way we show up in the world that are troubling to those we lead. I've noticed that many people, out of either kindness or a lack of courage, don't confront their pastors. Usually these offenses cumulate over time and then explode, sometimes ruining much of the progress that has been made.
To really do well at planting, we need mirrors in our lives. We need to build in reflective practices so we create space for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. We need real life human beings to have complete access to us with permission to tell us whatever they see. These are the best ways to begin to uncover what we cannot see on our own and start to tend the foundation of our souls.
At this year’s Multiply Vineyard Summit in Miami we are going to help planters see, address, and repair some of the cracks in their foundation. For some, this will be a space to address acute problems. For others, it will be more preventative and proactive care. Whichever camp you fall in, we think these days together will serve you tremendously as you slow down and consider what Jesus is saying to you about your life. We anticipate laughing together a lot and building genuine friendships as we do this work alongside each other. Would you consider joining us?
Join us to be encouraged, inspired, and equipped at the Multiply Vineyard Summit!
January 8-10, 2019 in Miami, FL
Corey Garris joined the Multiply Vineyard team in 2014 to lead the multisite coaching and resources team. Corey has had years of experience supporting and developing multisite churches across the country. Corey is also is Chief of Staff at the Mile High Vineyard. Prior to working at MHV, Corey oversaw the development of campuses at Vineyard Columbus, was a campus pastor himself, and also helped send out church plants.
As Chief of Staff, Corey is responsible for supplying pastoral care and leadership to the church as well as overseeing the development of MHV Hubs throughout the Denver metro area. Corey is passionate about seeing Jesus transform lives in our city and about hubs being life-giving communities that profoundly impact their neighborhoods and communities.
Corey is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a degree in Criminal Justice. He and Cyndia have been married since 2003 and have two daughters, Ava and Rylee.