There are plenty of pastors who’ve got it going on. We should never copy what someone is doing like it’s some kind of short cut. We should only do those things that are quickened in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, but let’s be open to being challenged by others. Here is a list of Christian leaders who are following hard after Christ. I’ve attached a few links for you to follow. This isn’t an exhaustive list. There are countless others we can learn from. You’re going to be familiar with a few of them, but you may not recognize the rest.
It’d be worth your time to check out the things they’re doing and allow the Holy Spirit to stir something in you.
Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” in 1 Cor 11:1, and we should learn from others to the extent that they are imitating Christ and following after his example.
So, I think we could gain something from looking into what others are doing and seeing if we can do something better, different, or just find encouragement.
Here they are in no particular order:
Chris Hodges, Church of the Highlands
“He is the last hope of those who feel lost and left behind. He sacrificed His own life so you could live.” -Chris Hodges
He’s got a small little church in Alabama of about 18,000 people meeting on 8 campuses. He’s part of the Association of Related Churches, a large church planting network. They’ve focused on developing positive community relationships and creating an atmosphere where people can encounter the Spirit of God and see their lives changed.
Rick Blackwood, Christ Fellowship
“You can go through any flood when you know you have that favor of God” -Rick Blackwood
According to Outreach magazine, he’s got the 51st fastest growing church in America, and this Southern Baptist church is flourishing in the hard soil of a Miami, FL . It takes something special to reach people in Miami, a multicultural and multinational city known for it’s resistance to the Gospel. In December of 2012, they were able to raise more than 600,000 in 48 hours for charity.
David Platt & Francis Chan, Multiply Movement
“Jesus asks for everything, but we try to give Him less.” -Francis Chan
These two are successful pastors in their own right. They’ve planted huge churches and written best selling books, but they decided to work together and advocate discipleship within the body of Christ with their Multiply Movement. They believe that Scripture teaches that God is already working in people’s lives, and that it is the responsibility of Christians to join Him in what he’s doing. They even decided to offer their material for free.
Michael Stewart, Matt Carter, Todd Engstrom, Kevin Peck, Austin Stone Community Church
“A missionary is someone who sacrifices everything but Gospel for the sake of the Gospel” -Todd Engstrom
These guys lead the 12th fastest growing church in the nation. They work together to reach their city and their nation. They’ve committed themselves to being true to scripture and loving their city. The respond to their city’s needs. When floods ravaged Austin, they encouraged their members to partner with local disaster relief agencies and get to work.
Pope Francis, Catholic Church
“My people are poor and I am one of them” –Pope Francis.
He’s the leader of a rather large ministry, and he’s making a difference in the Catholic church. He’s shunned the more traditional trappings of past Popes and chosen to live a more austere lifestyle. He’s promoting love and service to those in need. He’s challenging his leadership and his people to live an active faith that reflects the teachings and values of Jesus. How can you not love what he’s doing?
Timothy J. Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church
“We should never be satisfied with the one here. We should always be changing our world in view of what is to come.” –Timothy Keller
He’s leading a church planting organization that is reaching this nation. He’s a best selling author focused on exposing the Gospel and it’s effect on hearts and cities. His church both reaches celebrities and the homeless. He’s focused on learning about what Jesus did and doing it.
We’ll mention some others later on, and if you have any suggestions of people worth looking into, please, pass that info on.