I have a friend who was in the military. When I say he was in the military, he wasn’t just an average soldier. He was an Army Ranger. He was also part of a Special Forces unit.
One day, he and I were driving to lunch, and I asked him, “What possessed you to join the Army and be part of this special unit?”
Without missing a beat, he said, “Because they offered me a chance to be the best. They challenged me to either be the best or go home.”
It was at that moment that I realized when you challenge people, you invite them to go to a higher level.
Too many times in the church, we shy away from challenging people because we don’t want to offend.
Truth be told, the only people who get offended when we lay out a challenge are people who don’t want to grow.
I have learned that people are looking to be challenged. They are looking for something to which to give their lives. They are seeking to become more than they currently are.
And here’s the thing: I truly believe that the church can and should be that place.
But for that to happen, pastors need to step up to the plate and become comfortable challenging people.