A couple of months ago I had lunch with one of those Yodas–those wise, older pastors who have been in ministry so long they ooze wisdom without knowing it. This gentleman could offer commentary on nearly anything and it would be laced with something helpful. He’s been at the same congregation for more than thirty years, and in ministry for more than thirty-five years.

That takes some doing. It doesn’t just happen. It takes something to live one’s life with integrity in a fish bowl, make the sacrifices full-time ministry asks of you, help grow a church over decades, and still smile a lot—after nearly forty years. Such pastors are my heroes. I hope to be one of them.

One of my mentors, the late Dr. Charles Siburt used to ask churches he consulted with the question, “Why haven’t you?” This in response to the excuses we make for why we haven’t done this or that.

“We can make any change we need to and the church will be fine with it.”

“We could grow that way too, if we wanted to.”

“We can make a change on staff if we need to.”

Really? Then, why haven’t you?

I’ve asked that question in the same settings and found the answer to the question can be found, typically in one of two places: 1) it would be too much work, or 2) Fear.