Monday, April 17, 2006


There are four words with which every pastor in the CTK network needs to become fluent. These four words are "Yes, Sure, You Bet." “Yes,” “Sure,” and “You Bet” need to be spoken frequently to make certain that we are open to God's plans, and not just our own - to guarantee that we are empowering people, instead of controlling them.

When was the last time that you told someone in your ministry “Yes, Sure, You Bet”? Over the years, I have been amazed at how powerful those words have been to the hearer. Evidently, these words are rarely spoken (or heard) in the traditional church anymore. Many church leaders can say “no” but few have the power to say “yes.” Personally, I view this to be a tell-tale sign of bureaucracy. At CTK we value empowerment. That means saying yes to what God wants to do in a person’s life.

Here are some of the people that we love to say “yes” to at CTK.

1. People who have a heart for ministry. While at CTK we have a limited number of programs that we start, there are an unlimited number of ministries that our people may start. There are a number of people in ministry at CTK who have told me, “I couldn’t do this at my previous church. There was too much red tape.”
2. People who are less than the best. In modern church circles the key word is “excellence.” What this means to many people is “those who are average need not apply.” At CTK we emphasize “good enough” instead of “perfection.” This opens the door to many people who previously would not have been considered gifted enough to minister.
3. Pastors who have failed or fallen. We believe that “hope for the future, forgiveness for the past” applies to everyone, even leaders. A church leader from another denomination told me recently that the difference between their group and CTK was that we “actually give a person a second chance.” His denomination talked the language of recovery, but fell short on actually taking a risk.

Faith is belief times action. At CTK we not only want to have faith in God, but in people.

Donnie Deutch (marketing guru) was interviewing Bernard Kerick (former NYC Police Commissioner) about the United States' "war on terror." He said, "If you had 200 billion dollars to spend on terrorist prevention, would you go to war in Iraq, or is there a better way to spend 200 billion dollars?" It was a "highest and best use" question. Both of them had to agree that the war in Iraq has done some good (notably, removing Saddam Hussein from power). But neither of them felt comfortable saying that it was the best use of 200 billion dollars imaginable.

There is a church with which I am familiar that recently went through an 80 million dollar building program. The church now has an auditorium that seats 7,000. So let me rephrase Deutch's question, "If you had 80 million dollars to spend on reaching lost people, would you spend it on a building, or is there a better way to spend 80 million dollars?"

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