Steven Furtick released this highlight of his recent Impart conference where he downloads his wisdom to pastors and church staffers.
Pajama Pages is happy to provide a translation for you:
I’ve just made a decision in my life that no one human being will take the seat of the throne of lordship in my life, and not one person (and this doesn’t apply to my wife and my kid, because obviously you know that’s a different category) in my life is going to keep me from going to the places that God wants to take me.
Translation: God only wants to take me to really, really neat places. Job is so Old Testament.
You have no idea the relational cost that has to be paid (some of you do, because you’ve paid it) before your ministry can truly grow. And a lot of you have no idea what it feels like to be loved by everyone, but to be known by no-one.
People might not love you, but they sure do love me.
It’s really weird. People come up to me in the restaurant and they’re, like, “Hey, I see you guys are on date night. How did you like the Clemson game Saturday night? I saw you Tweet about that.” And it’s a little freaky; they really know me. And I don’t know them, and I’m trying to have dinner. And usually people are really polite, but still it’s really kind of freaky when you’re, like, “Man, you really know a lot about me,” and I guess I put it all out there, but it’s kind of weird.
I’m really famous, though sometimes I have to talk to little people whom I don’t know.
And what’s more painful than that…
Now think about Jesus. He’s actually invested in these guys and is about to die for them, and they’re sleeping on him. Now think about the relational pain of investing in someone at that level, and then–you know what he says–the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. And it broke Jesus’ heart.
Jesus should have fired that sorry bunch of losers. I would have.
And the single greatest thing standing between some of you and the level God wants to take you to–the stratosphere he wants to propel you into in your leadership–is your unwillingness to confront one relationship in your life.
I’m already in the stratosphere, so the relationship you need to confront is definitely not with me.
I wish I could take your cellphone right now and start asking you questions.
As you know, I don’t do real good talking to anonymous little people like you, but I’m pretty good with cell phones and Twitter.
Some of you have lazy staff members that you’re keeping in positions that they suck at in the name of loving them. You’re not doing that because you love them; you’re doing that because you love the comfort of the relationship you have with them more than you actually love them.
I still have no idea why Jesus kept Peter around. Evangelist, rock. Huh?
I’m not expecting amens in this session. I’m expecting blank stares.
Especially from you suckers who thought it would be a good idea to bring your senior pastor with you today. Go home and start working on your resumes tonight.
I’m preaching so you’ll delete later, not so you’ll say amen now.
Wow, did I mean to say delete? How did some good advice make it into this sermon? Reset.
I’m preaching so you will be empowered. Look, I’m not talking about being cold and being harsh. If you had any idea how much pain we go through to make sure that if someone ever leaves this ministry we take care of them, and we bless them, and we send them. But the most painful things in my leadership life have not been from critics I didn’t know, but from relationships that outgrew their season and I had to let them go.
I’ve fired so many people I can hardly stand it. Don’t you feel sorry for me?
Here’s what I want to prophetically say to some of you who are mourning over a relationship that God has rejected in your life…
When you have to have to destroy a friend’s career, tell them that God made you do it.
1 Samuel 16:1, God confronts Samuel the prophet who was in mourning over Saul, who wasn’t going to make it as the king. “How long will you mourn over what God has rejected?” How long will you mourn over relationships that God was done with three years ago? How long are you going to keep trying to make it work?
I’m the prophet now, so you shouldn’t read anything into the fact that God solved this problem by having the leader fall on his sword. Absolutely no application there.
Would this be a good time to break for lunch?