Being a Proactive Pastor

Coach Shug Jordan at Auburn University asked his former Linebacker Mike Kollin, who was playing for the Dolphins, if he would help his alma mater do some recruiting.

Mike said, “Sure, coach. What kind of player are you looking for?”

The coach said, “Well Mike, you know that there’s that fellow, you knock him down, he just stays down?”

Mike said, “We don’t want him, do we coach?”

“No, that’s right. Then there’s that fellow, you knock him down and he gets up, you knock him down again and he stays down.”

Mike said, “We don’t want him either do we coach?”

Coach said, “No, but Mike, there’s a fellow, you knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up.”

Mike said, “That’s the guy we want isn’t it coach?”

The coach answered, “No, Mike, we don’t want him either. I want you to find the guy who’s knocking everybody down. That’s the guy we want.”

Great story, isn’t it? Like Mike, we often think entirely in reactive and defensive terms. I believe it’s important for believers to have a proactive attitude when it comes to life and to the things of God.

Far too many believers have a “Hold the Fort” mentality, instead of an “Onward Christian Soldiers” mentality. Jesus said that He would build His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

If it weren’t for the devil and the difficult circumstances of life, some Christians wouldn’t even have a prayer life. If there are problems or a crisis in their life, they turn to God. But if everything is going well, they quickly become complacent in their spiritual activities.

In pastoral work, it is tremendously exhausting to be a “fire chaser.” This occurs when we spend all of our time reacting to crises and problems that arise, instead of having a vision and plan from God that we’re working out. Again, we need to be proactive, not merely reactive.

Let me encourage you to be fervent in your relationship with God, and to be diligent in your prayers, study, and strategic planning. Don’t be merely reactive, but live and minister proactively. Don’t just be the person who gets up when you get knocked down, but be the person who’s on the offensive in your life and ministry.