Why do you do what you do?

I've compared this week - the first on the ground at the new church - to being airlifted into a foreign culture where you know almost nothing. You have to learn a new language, new traditions, new customs, even a new clothing style. It isn't easy to figure out why people do what they do, they just do them; even in ultra-contemporary type churches who try their hardest to spurn tradition and customs... they have an identifiable culture too.

Slowly but surely, I'm learning the culture at McKinney, and beginning to observe some of the things that make things tick around here. I'll try to identify a few of them over the next couple of weeks and talk about them because they're interesting, to me at least.

Today I had a conversation with the executive pastor, and he mentioned a little about the philosophy of ministry that pastors work by at McKinney. I'd heard it before, but he put it especially succinctly today.

"You see it two ways: Some pastors believe people exist to help them have an extraordinary ministry. Other pastors believe they exist to help people have an extraordinary ministry. We want to be the latter."

That's good stuff that most pastors would nod their head in agreement with (at least any pastors who are familiar with Ephesians 4). But how many of us is really comfortable in that kind of role? I know a lot of pastors who are interested in making a name for themselves - for all the right reasons. They love God, love people, and truly want to do great things. But along the way they use people to help their own ministries be extraordinary. As a result the pastor's ministry isn't nearly as extraordinary as it could be, and the world suffers from a limited number of extraordinary ministries.

It works in corporate America too. You see a lot of corporations that exist to make a CEO look great. Those corporations will always be limited by the vision, gifts, and personality of the one leader in charge. But when the CEO exists to help employees have extraordinary influence, that corporation is unlimited in its potential.

So what kind of leader are you? How do you view the people around you? Why would they say you believe you exist?