Things are progressing well for the Austin Area Church Planting Network. We will begin the formalization of the Network by forming a board comprised of planters and established pastors that reflect the diversity of Austin.
Today we have a good discussion about how young planters/pastors can cultivate healthy, unselfish relationships with other pastors. Dan Davis shared some reflections, arguing that younger leaders often fail to develop good, transparent relationships with others for three reasons:
- They have not “crashed and burned” in order to discover their relational needs.
- They are too stretched for time.
- They approach relationships on a purely “what can I get out of this” basis.
Of course, not all young pastors approach relationships this way, and if they do, the problem is likely rooted in their theology proper (how they view God). No matter who we are, some relationships have to be formed over tasks; however, people are not essentially levers to be pulled for our success. This commercialization of our relationships can be remedied by repenting over viewing people as instruments. Repentance will likely need to start with how we view God. Do we relate to him primarily over what he can do for us, for our ministries, and how he can make our theology better? Do we view God in the tradition of the Western church that conceives of God as “consubstantial but with distinct hypostases” —in other words the Trinity as shared substance but distinct in themselves. OR do we conceive of God and relate to him as persons-in-community—to be God is to be a community of persons of relationships–which by redemption we are swept into to the sweet satisfaction of our souls? If the former, some confession and repentance may be in order to God himself, then change in our relating to him and consequently to others.