By Coach Dave Daubenmire

“I am a church orphan, Coach.” That is what one e-mailer typed me last week. “I feel like an outcast, as if I had been left on the doorstep by those whom I felt loved me.”

Church orphans. Sheep without shepherds. Children without parents. Relatives without a family. Orphans. Black sheep. Mal-contents. Fill in your own adjectives.

We are talking about committed Christian men and women who are totally devoted to the cause of Christ but who are not willing to blindly follow a “pastor.”

So they are sent to the back forty, shoved into a closet, or given the left-foot of fellowship because they are “sowing discord amongst the brethren.”

In other words, they are not compliant sheep. They are accused of being trouble-makers, or thorns that have been sent to buffet the servant of the Lord.

I guess I am so sensitive to them because I am one. I have a hard time finding a place to call home.

I have many pastors who are my friends. I know their hearts and their desire to serve the Lord by serving His people. I could rattle off a list of 20 without much hesitation. I honor them and would do whatever I could to help in their labor. But they are rare.

Probably the most common question I get when I receive emails from the readers is “Do you know of a good church in my area?” I rarely have an answer for their lament.

“Who is your pastor?” I am often asked by Pastors, especially in emails.

“Who is yours?” I love to ask them. “Who do you tell your secrets to?”

Most don’t like the question. Pastors are pastors…special men. Pastors don’t need to be pastured because they have a hotline to God. At least that seems to be the logic that they apply.

“The Lord is my Shepherd!” I tell them. They don’t like that response. They want to know what 200 pounds of flesh I answer to.

They don’t like men like me. They want compliant men. “Yes” men…people-pleasing men. (Am I speaking to anyone out there? Can you give me an “AMEN?”)

I wish it wasn’t so. So many are longing to be part of a real church family but get in trouble because they follow the voice of the Lord and not the voice of a man.

The modern evangelical church bears very little resemblance to the first century church that Jesus birthed. Christianity to them was a way of life, not a religion. The “church” was who you were, not a place you went. Worship was what you did with your life, not the prelude event in a “church service.”

Did you know the term “pastor” is mentioned only one time in the entire New Testament. It was one of the “offices” in the church that Paul mentions as a “gift” given to the Body for the “equipping of the saints.”

Today it is a job description…lead pastor, associate pastor, children’s pastor, small-group pastor, pastor of worship, visitation pastor…you get the drift.

Today, “The Pastor” is the “professional Christian” who is charged with the duties of handling the affairs of the church. Unfortunately, most pastors make everyone else feel unqualified. Maybe not on purpose, but we give them such respect that we think they have a special pipeline to God that the rest of the sheep do not have.

This causes dependency and does not require a man to “work out his own salvation” thus stunting his Spiritual growth.

Every individual is gifted with different talents and abilities. It should be the responsibility of the “pastor” to “equip the saints” for the work of the ministry. Very few “pastors” help develop the gifts of the saints. Even good players need to be coached. Most pastors are not good coaches.

I always fall back to my coaching experience. The great coaches are the ones who recognize the talents that each individual player has and then does all he can to develop the individual talent of the player.

Some are quarterbacks, some are wide-receivers, and some are snot-snorting inside linebackers. It is the snot-snorters that are hardest to control. But no team can be successful without a few. They do the dirty work…the work the other players aren’t willing or able to do. If the football coach lost some of the “rebels” the team would not be very good. The snot-snorters tend to be the playmakers.

John the Baptist was a snot snorter. So was Paul…Barnabus…and Peter. But Jesus didn’t run them out of the church. He developed them, coached them, refined their skills and then plugged them in where they would be most valuable to His team.

Today the snot-snorters are no longer welcome in “the church.” They ask questions. They challenge the pastor’s preaching. They question his authority. They aren’t afraid of a fight.

That is a no-no into today’s Evangellyfish church. No one questions the pastor. No one acts without the pastor’s approval. No one hears from God the way the pastor does. To question is to be in rebellion.

So the sheep don’t grow. They never develop their gifts. They want a pastor who will coach them but they only find pastors who want to control them. They grow bored, disgruntled, and end up leaving the church.

They become church orphans with no family and no place to call home. America is full of them. I hear from them every week.

Can we be honest here? Most Christians are content to sit compliantly on the pew. Few have eaten enough of the “Word” to be strong enough to venture out into the world and contend for the faith. It is discouraging to watch.

Can you explain to me why “Type-A” men in the business world become such patsies in the church world? Why are the leadership skills of these men relegated to the role of “elder” or “usher?” They are players (snot-snorters) in the business world, why do we turn them into spectators in the church world?

Are you a church orphan? Do you find you have a hard time fitting in with mainstream churchianity? Are you looking to make a difference but get rebuffed at every turn? Do you get labeled a “church-hopper” because you are not willing to make your nest amongst the luke-warm? Do you agree that as goes the church, so goes the nation?

Check out www.mmunited.org. We are swimming upstream as we fight the lazy, complacent, cowardly church. We love church orphans. We are not a church…we are a network. We are trying to pull the church back onto solid ground. There is much work to be done. We need your help. We’d like to hear from you.

Check us out today: www.newswithviews.tv

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