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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What would Pastor Oloo do?


Pastor Nicholas Oloo (on the left) was the senior leader at the conference in Kisumu Kenya in the Spring of 2007. I taught exegetical preaching to about 500 pastors through the SIM (Sending In Mission). Martha worked with Pastor Oloo in registration and he took her to the orphanage he ran along with his church. There was something regal about Pastor Oloo. His voice was a whispered hoarseness. His eyes were always bright and intense. When a group of pastors were stepping out of line or misbehaving, he would step into their line of sight and just wiggle his finger at them and they settled down immediately. He carried about him a quiet authority.
After the elections last year in Kenya, mobs burned down the orphanage, church and his home. We have been in correspondence with him and sent him some money for new roofing and food. When the fires burned here in Santa Barbara, we received an immediate email from him, asking for directions how his church could pray for our church.
These are disruptive times for churches and pastors in the USA. Some of our old leadership models no longer suit this climate of fear, panic, down-sizing, recession. Maybe that's why I haven't blogged for a while. The need for strong and clear leadership is greater now than any time I can recall in ministry (post 9/11 was also a challenging time). Mega and Super models don't fit these times. New and snappy programs don't scratch the itch. We are hungering for something deeper, something more enduring and lasting, something that sustains brokenness.
I keep thinking about Pastor Oloo with his burned orphanage and church in Kisumu, praying for us here in Santa Barbara. I wonder what he would do? I know what he would do. He would point us to Jesus and his Word. He would call us to love like Jesus loves and care for vulnerable ones like Jesus cared. When I think of Pastor Oloo, I don't think about a cluttered up life, but a life that is clear and focussed on God's eternal values. Thanks Pastor Oloo!

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