Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Missional Leadership II

I have a new candidate for what to put on my gravestone:
The church is not a business and the pastor is not a CEO.

These two ideas have done untold damage to local churches, to individual Christians and to pastors.

Congregations have been split apart as a result of attempts to emulate the strategy of a celebrity pastor. Long-time church members have been vilified because they did not fit with the pastor’s “vision.” Pastors have ruined their health and their family life trying to be charismatic leaders.

The church has borrowed business models from the world and applied them wholesale to the affairs of the kingdom. How many businesses do you know that give their product away without demanding money? (See
Luke 6:30.) How many banks make loans without expecting repayment? (See Luke 6:34.) How many CEOs get their jobs by moving down the corporate ladder? (See Mark 10:43.)

Yet we act as if
strategic planning, statistical analysis and hard work are the primary ingredients to “success” in ministry.

Modernist thinking has reduced the “I Am” of the Exodus to the “
God of the gaps.” But the church has done something much worse. We’ve relegated God to a “genie in a bottle” who we call on when we need a little extra boost to meet our goals.

Here are some prophetic quotations for today’s church:

Not only do we not need God to explain the universe, we don’t need God to operate the church. Many operate like giant machines, with church leaders serving as mechanics. God doesn’t have to show up to get done what’s being done.
Reggie McNeal, The Present Future

A congregation is not a business organization, nor is it meant to be run like a minicorporation through strategic planning and alignment of people and resources around some big plan.
Alan Roxburgh & Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader

We need to lead in ways that are different from those of a CEO, an entrepreneur, a super leader with a wonderful plan for the congregation’s life.
Alan Roxburgh & Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader

There is a lack of theological depth in much of the contemporary church planting and church growth movements because these are movements of techniques, paradigms, and methodologies without genuine biblical and missiological convictions.
Ed Stetzer & David Putman, Breaking the Missional Code

To accomplish spiritual results we do not create the future by visioning it or by mobilizing people to create our picture of what the future will be. I am directly criticizing a predominant teaching among Christian writing and leadership seminars that promote the importance of vision. My criticism of them is they do not use “vision” the way the Bible does, and their teaching tends to promote flesh acts, not Spirit-led leadership.
Brian J. Dodd, Empowered Church Leadership

How many of us have experienced the drivenness of a leader having been caught up in his or her vision? I speak with some remorse and regret for times that my “visionary dreaming” has left me “proud and pretentious,” judgmental and disapproving of the believers God has called me to shepherd and to care for. I have spoken with too many pastors who seem content to drive people out of their church because they do not fit with vision. This is not the heart of the Good Shepherd.
Brian J. Dodd, Empowered Church Leadership

Our theology says that we should lead from below, but
all our models say we should look and act successful.
Alan Roxburgh & Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader
In this post I have focused on the negative, what leadership is not. I will address what I believe leadership should look like in the church, but it is necessary first to eliminate these assumptions that have polluted our thinking about leadership within the kingdom.

Tell me what you think.

Pastor Rod

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

Part One, Part Three

1 comment:

Missional Jerry said...

Excuse while I stand and cheer.