A Pastor friend told me that one of his mentors once shared with them the following paradigm for success in this delicate challenge of Pastoral Ministry. P = Proclamation. L = Leadership. C = Caring. The mentor told the class that most of them would do quite well on the “P” and the “C” aspects of ministry. He also said most of them would struggle with the “L”.
In April of 2005 George Barna wrote what he called a ‘transition letter’. After 25 years of diligent research and writing to bring assistance to the local church pastors of America, he concluded that his effort were almost totally futile. Why? LEADERSHIP. There simply is a devastating lack of competence in this realm among evangelical pastors. His comments taken from that letter confirm the accuracy of that professors challenge to his class.
Here is a quote from Barna’s letter.
My concern has always been whether or not our assistance really made any difference in people’s lives. The most discouraging study we ever conducted was one in which we attempted to identify churches in the U.S. that consistently and intelligently evaluate life transformation among the people to whom they minister. We found that very few churches – emphasis on very – measure anything beyond attendance, donations, square footage, number of programs and size of staff. None of that necessarily reflects life transformation. Further, our ongoing research continued to show that churches do not act strategically because of a paucity of leadership. My objective had always been to get good information into the hands of leaders so they would convert those insights into great strategic decisions about how to minister more obediently and effectively. Not having the leaders in place to utilize such information was an obstacle I had not foreseen.
In the opportunities that God has given me working with churches this issue is validated over and over again. The “Good News” is this. Leadership skills may be learned, acquired, mastered. Maxwell uses a scale of 1-10 in rating leaders. If you are a “4″you can with diligence, perseverance and the abundant grace of God and enabling power of the Holy Spirit, become a more effective leader. You may never become a 10 but a 7 or an 8 is much more effective than a 4. You will find much greater satisfaction in serving and the people you lead will benefit from the skills God adds to your leadership ability. Everyone benefits.
So Pastor, as you read this and are immersed in the reality that your “L” is weak, take courage. Draw near to God. Give yourself to Him and seek His favor in this area. He delights to pour His favor and Grace upon those leaders whose single desire is to honor Him. Call us. We will take this journey with you. Eternity will be so much more blessed if you simply find the courage to begin.
John Bingham was a 35 year old out of shape, non-athletic couch potato. He decided to try running. His ‘style’ earned him the nick-name “The Penguin” because of his awkward shuffle/running style. In conjunction with his ‘running’ he began to write humorous articles about his efforts. He is now a multi-millionaire because of his writing. He serves as the MC at pre-race banquets for such Marathons as Boston, New York, Chicago, Marine Corp, etc.
His statement when he finished his first marathon - “The miracle is not that I finished, but, that I had the courage to begin”. When will you begin pastor?