Angry or Hungry?

September 23, 2006

A new church is starting in Tupelo. I don’t know much about it, except that several of the key people come from another church in town. After meeting as a small group for several months, they have decided to start holding public worship services soon. As part of the process, they have called a young man from another state to be their founding pastor. Recently I ran into someone who happened to meet this young man. When asked how he decided to come to Tupelo, he said that when the group approached him, he asked them one question: “Are you angry or are you hungry?”
What a great question. Lots of churches (probably the majority if the truth were known) are started because people are dissatisfied with their own church experience. They want something different, something better, and they don’t think they can get it at their old church so they band together to start a new one. There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact this is exactly how most new ventures get started. No one would make a better mousetrap if the old one worked perfectly.
But motivation matters greatly. Anger over your old church isn’t a good way to start a new church. It’s fine to be discontented as long as your discontentment leads to a hunger for something deeper and better. Angry people don’t make good church leaders, but when hungry people band together, they can build a church that God will bless.
So here’s an excellent question for everyone who wants to start a new church: Are you angry or are you hungry?

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?