Ever taken a swig from a milk carton that’s two weeks past its expiration date?  Read the headlines from last month’s newspaper?  Charted box scores from last year’s big game?

Kind of stale, huh?

Let’s look at it in a difference context: Where in the New Testament do we find a model for pastors camping at a specific church at a specific locale or address and staying there for ten, twenty, thirty years or more?

Granted, there’s something to be said for maturity and stability.  Many pastors – and not a few ICs – wear pastoral longevity on their sleeves like a badge of honor.  But is it?

What’s ‘predictable,’ ‘routine’ and ‘comfortable’ can also be spelled r-u-t.  Pastors who’ve been running the show since just after the earth’s crust cooled become a kind of crutch.  In some instances, congregants become so dependent on a pastor to think for them that their own growth is stunted.  They’re spiritual cripples.  In others, “church” becomes less and less about Jesus or the ekklesia and focuses on a single dominant personality and their agenda.

In C.S.Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy inquires about Aslan, the Great Lion of Narnia:

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

“The son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea may be many things.  One thing he is not is “tame.”

How does that square with the average “church”?

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