Posted by: watchman | January 22, 2012

Reasons I Shouldn’t Pastor: Hack Job

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Previously Posted

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Chaplain Mike over at Internet Monk posted some good thoughts on 2 Corinthians today. One of the things the Apostle Paul was concerned about was the type of leadership that was influential among the people of the Corinthian church. He feared that the Corinthians were more apt to follow snakes than true Christ-like leaders (2 Cor. 11:3).

The good Chaplain remarks that the type of tools a leader utilizes makes a huge difference. We can utilize Kingdom tools or carnal tools.

I have used both types of tools, I must admit, and I am way better at the carnal ones. Therefore, I should stay away from the pulpit and stay away from leadership.

What are these carnal tools?

First, there is a tendency to build a personality cult around a charismatic leader. It was true in Paul’s day and it remains true in ours. Evangelical pastoring often assumes that the preacher has such a forceful personality that he/she is able to move and nurture the church by the force of his/her presence.

Second is the dependence on carnal philosophies and methodologies. We live in a day and age when pastors proudly refer to themselves as their churches’ CEO. I once had a conversation with a church-planting coach that taught me a church growth means that was pulled straight from a pyramid scheme’s playbook.

The Church is addicted to this kind of stuff and I often felt pressure to comply with these types of strategies. I look back a bit horrified to realize that I wasn’t too bad at these kinds of things and I regularly incorporated them into my ministry.

But, I was never comfortable with such carnality. I was never able to sell out completely. I could act according to carnal principles during the day and then have trouble looking in the mirror at night.

This put me in a bad spot. I was pretty good at the carnal stuff, but I wasn’t very good at the Kingdom stuff. Looking back, I think I unwittingly attempted some sort of hybrid between the carnal and Kingdom orientations. Trying to mix those two things together is a perfect way to botch everything up. Thus, I made a bit of a hack job out of most of the ministries I was a part of.

My advice to any young pastors out there is to be one or the other. Either be the pyramid-scheme CEO, or try to be the gracious Christ-like shepherd.

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