In Breakout Churches, Thom Rainer writes:
Good churches do not become breakout churches until the leaders confront reality. And most church leaders are unable or unwilling to confront reality…The leaders of breakout churches are do not hesitate to look at the statistics of their churches, even if the reality of the numbers is painful. They insist on having a clear awareness of the state of the church.
Later on, he writes that in three of the churches in the study, “laypeople experienced a wake-up call prior to the senior pastor.” He emphasizes that this “facing up” is accompanied by unswerving faith and a desire to move into something better. This resonates with me. I’m humbled that senior pastors can often be the last to sense what is so obvious to everyone else. This has been the case with me. I’ve often been surprised how much better others sense what God is doing or not doing ahead of me. People everywhere are experiencing this “facing up” moment. They’re facing up to reality and believing that there is something better. Sometimes others are way ahead of the pastors. When people all over are doing this, I have to think God is up to something. Something good, actually.