Pastors are an interesting group of people. They think differently. They act differently. They behave differently. They wound differently.
Wait, did I say they wound differently? Yes I did. Pastors can be the first to strike for blood when they should the last. I believe most “lone rangers” we see together is because they have found the pastoral office in our churches so toxic and so dangerous, they feel more safe as far as from it as they can get.
It might make pastors a little uneasy to hear but it is the reality. We have lone rangers because of our values more than their values. I do not think anyone want to be an outsider. They do it because they have tried to connect and was stabbed to death by insecure pastors.
Jesus never condemned the lone rangers. We do but he didn’t. He understood there was things inside his own team that was hurting the “loners” and there was reasons that they kept the disciplines are arm length. We might not like it but that is what the Bible tells us.
Lone Rangers, Kansas City BBQ and Revival
I was having a dinner with an ex-friend that is a pastor at Gates BBQ, the best in Kansas City BBQ, and this issue came up. I like JD King still. He is a pastor and he does not care to realize the damage that the prophets and evangelists are seeing that the pastors have done. Over two hours, I spoke about his burden to him as a prophet in sackcloth and ashes. The pastoral ministry is full of thorns and spikes wounding people that do not have the same core values as the pastors. The church, even ones in revival, are leaving the masses and hurt. One of those “lone rangers” we rejected was Elvis Presley.
Shortly after that, I heard of a prophetic dream that Kirk Bennett had. He walked into a church and saw people on the floor looking like they were shot. He asked one what happened? The response was “I was in ministry.” This was the answer from each person in the dream. We are shooting our own Army. Pastors are leading wide spread genocide in the spiritual realm.
Some time after that, I was having coffee at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and hitting across from me was Marc Dupont. He is a prophet of the Lord and he wrote a book on the subject called Toxic Churches. For the next hour, we spoke about the lone rangers and why there is an increase in them in modern times. The bottom line: the problem is in the church, not them.
I would never tell a woman that is raped by a man to go back and “love the man” knowing she will be raped again and again. I will not tell a woman to go home and having the crap knocked out of her is God’s will. In the same way, I can not tell a lone ranger to go get abuse and wounded by the churches are in Marc’s mind, toxic.
Community, renewal and repentance
We have some repenting to do in the church. I am not even sure most pastors know the word repent anymore. It is about changing your mindset in order to change your life. We have some mindset that need to be changed. We have to build a platform that lone rangers feel safe to embrace; not try and guilt trip them into it.
I believe one of the things that the Holy Spirit aimed to address in the Toronto Blessing was bring renewal to the leadership and heal them up. A pastor that has been emotionally healed is far less toxic to those with anointing who are different they are. I believe that they feel short, very short of that calling; it was a breath of fresh air in the Spirit.
Alot of pastors will preach community and they are the worst example of it. Many of the friends that harp on this hardly even pick up the phone to call me when I am in town and never relate on any meaningful level. Preaching community does not bring it. You can only bring community buy actually doing community. Alot of pastors prefer to use it for sermons, not application. If you believe it, practice it, Pastor!
The change must start with the church and it must start with repentance of leadership acting in pride! What is keeping you from admitting that we have not been as open to people with different anointings than we should have?
Is it too late for Lone Rangers?
I do not. I believe there will probably be the main players in Stadium Christianity. They have an ability to response to the Spirit that people who have demonized by religion just do not have. I also believe they will “warm up” to pastors when they know it is safe to let down “the hedge of protection.”
The burden is on the pastors to show them that is safe to open up and they will be slandered and stabbed again. Most of these guys are very anointed and want to minister in the church but do not feel they are welcome. It is up to the church to make the welcome real. Will we answer that call?
This message has been something that I have been preaching to pastors all over the world and I find that very few are really willing to consider the need for repentance and make a choice to honor those who have been wounded. It is a choice that they make. It is a choice to wound them and a choice to walk in healing toward them. Both are choices that we have to make.
One thing I know for sure is this: we are stronger with them than we are without them. We are the Army of the Lord but these are your Special Forces guy. They don’t play well but they can get in and out and do very specialized things with great precision. We need them more than they need us.