Monday, March 2, 2009

I Want to Be Like Mike

I'm a firm believer that if you want to be better at something, be it sports, music, art, a career, and even ministry, you should look at someone who is succeeding in that area, if nothing more than for inspiration and encouragement. That was the gist of the old "I want to be Like Mike" Gatorade ads from my childhood, where dozens of kids sang of their desire to play basketball as well as Michael Jordan, considered one of the greatest ever. Obviously, most of those kids were never going to be like Mike. Many would never even make a high school or college squad, but it's the idea that we should aspire to maximize our individual talents and abilities.

This issue came up when I pitched an idea to a friend that would involve drastically changing the teaching ministry at my church. His first response was "only Mega Churches do that." I had already known this, but I begged the question "and what's wrong with that?" Since when did Church become a place where sharing ideas and emulating effective ministry methods were forbidden? I think not only is it acceptable, but something that should be encouraged. Let's learn from others who are doing well, and not be too proud to acknowledge that some other ministry may be succeeding at the very thing we're trying to accomplish. Getting over the false assumption that every church must be unique in every way beyond its own inherent qualities could be the first step in seeing a greater harvest from our ministries. So, don't be afraid to be a CopyCat. Fact is, once you've copied something, you're going to put your personal touch on it anyway..

So last week I visited a mega church with some 16,000 members called the "Word Church" in Cleveland and I came away both Blessed and impressed. Pastor R. A.Vernon is truly a visionary leader and besides the awesome worship experience and the anointed Word that was given, I was amazed at the simplistic approach to worship, which in fact, confirmed a vision God had given me about Agape and it's need to return to a "back to basics" approach. Does this mean that Agape adopting some useful elements from Pastor Vernon will turn us into a Mega Church, a "Word clone" if you will? Of course not. We have our own DNA, our own identity, and we will continue to be the Church God has called us to be.

So if you are absolutely opposed to the idea of adopting the practices and methods of other ministries, that's OK. But remember, its quite possible that one of those kids who wanted to "be like Mike" could have been a little boy from Akron, OH by the name of Lebron James.

elder todd

ps. This should have been posted hours ago, but I couldn't decide which MJ photo to use!


  1. very good Elder I find the idea to quite fruitful. when people stop to really look at what their life has become just from such a small Ministry as ours...change should be a welcoming fact to all. Personally I can only speak for myself {who do I want to be like ?}I want to be like the greatest Man ever to walk the face of the earth.JESUS CHRIST and I both know and relish the fact that the only way do that is to learn all I need to learn about him.Even though as you say we have our own DNA people need to know that by bringing something new to the ministry will not and cannot change the format of our DNA.Lets face it though..just as the little boy with the desire to be like Mike, there are still little boys and girls in adult configuration who still have that want a be like Mike persona...BUT ARE AFRAID OF CHANGE.


  2. Thanks for your comment MaaNofGOD. I think that by reflecting of the success of others, we can better see the potential within ourselves.

    elder todd

  3. not only can we see potential within ourselves by reflecting the success of others..It should cause us to be hungering for that new taste of graditification from knowing that they have grown, even if it is just a little.