I met James Taylor of Soul Central Church http://www.soulcentralchurch.org/ in Portsmouth VA today. This guy has such a passion for the city! He has potential for bringing real change to an urban area that few people want to even touch. He is sharp, understands the community he is serving, and willing to do what it takes. His only problem has been finding a church in that city willing to partner with him in a real way. As a church planter starting from scratch with no financial backing he is up against big odds. But, I’d be willing to bet he’s gonna make it. I just hope I can make some connections and find him some support.
It was very refreshing this morning to worship in a healthy, growing church with a visionary pastor http://www.templechurch.net/. Lynn Hardaway has been a very effective tool in God’s hand to turn this church around and get it moving in a great direction. What I was struck with this morning was the clear vision that Lynn was communicating to his congregation.
Most sermons I hear are directed at individuals (you need to get right, do this, believe that). A visionary pastor, on the other hand, communicates where “God is calling us.” His message is clear, understandable and challenging. It is corporate and personal.
A visionary pastor has won the trust of his people so much so that the vision has an authentic ring to it. It’s not rhetoric or hype. This doesn’t necessarily mean that his whole congregation will immediately jump on board. The vision will need to be cast and recast, and communicated in various ways. Slowly, as small victories are won and momentum is gained, the vision will come to be owned by more and more of the congregation.