Saturday, May 27, 2006

Church CEO

The world is obsessed with leadership. And so is the church.

Unfortunately, the church often adopts the values and methods of leadership from
Donald Trump rather than from Jesus.

After James and John try to secure the most important positions for themselves, Jesus calls all the disciples together and tells them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).

But how well are we implementing this command of Jesus? Do we really follow Jesus’ example? Or do we read into the narrative a modern view of leadership?

David Fitch in The Great Giveaway explains, “Christians have a different purpose for and a different understanding about the way the world works, which fundamentally alters our understanding of what it means to be a leader” (p. 79).

Not only does this cause unnecessary strife within the church, but it also sets up the pastor for moral failure. “Pastors fail because they have character molded for success more than character for following Christ in marriage, work, ministry, and every other calling in life. And because their character is trained toward effectiveness, effective pastor-leaders are prone to deep emotional lows and emotional egotistical ecstasies with each failure or success because their emotions are formed in relation to success not faithfulness” (p. 83).

But there is enormous pressure on pastors to produce. “We should seek to structure pastoral ministry so that it is not just one more entrepreneurial occupation” (p. 90).

The leader who truly follows the example of Jesus will not look like, Donald Trump,
Ken Lay or J. P. Morgan. “This leader acts out of obedience to Christ not personal gain, in servanthood to his church not vocational success, and in submission to God’s sovereignty over his people, not personal goals and visions” (p. 94).

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”


nathaniel adam king said...

Very interesting. I think it accurate to say that the American thirst for a CEO and effective business has seeped into the church's way of thinking. Rather than looking for a group of leaders for the community, we are looking for an effective CEO for the business. Rather than thinking of the body of Christ as a communion of believers, we think of it as a convert making machine. [/rant]

Pastor Rod said...


Thanks for taking the time to add your comments. As a pastor, I can tell you that the pressure "to perform" is enormous. Any pastor who is able to practice the kind of leadership modeled by Jesus is to be honored. Unfortunately, he is not likely to be honored by "the system."


Anonymous said...

Thank you for exposing the "worldly" way the church chooses to get leadership from rather than from the example of the Word of God.

Pastors are not about preaching repentance to souls as the kingdom of heaven is at hand, but spend their hours thinking about ways to "get the numbers up"

Who cares about numbers. THese pastors have seriously lost perspective.