CEO-style pastors all the rage ‘but offer little to those seeking deeper faith’
Jeff Brumley Baptist News
Most pastors have had administrative responsibilities.
But experts say it has gone well beyond that for ministers who are facing increasing pressure to act more like chief executive officers than pastors.
Congregations concerned about dwindling numbers — both on the rolls and in collection plates — want CEOs more than spiritual mentors.
Karl Vaters called attention to it recently in his Pivot blog for Christianity Today.
Always staying ahead of the curve, dealing with church members’ expectations, managing staff (mostly volunteers) and trying to fund it all are among the pressures against pastors being pastors, Vaters said.
“We’re called to equip the people to be ministers themselves. But somehow the role of pastoring has morphed from equipper to spiritual enabler. And now to spiritual CEO,” he wrote in the March 6 blog.
He isn’t the only one seeing the trend — or concerned by it.
“The CEO model doesn’t work,” said Brett Younger, pastor of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., and former associate professor of preaching at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology.
“It keeps the church from having any spiritual depth and it keeps the minister from having any real depth,” he said.
Pastors also “cease to be ministers of word and sacrament” when those styles of ministry dominate.
While the minster’s role should be about leading others to belief in Christ and into ever-deepening faith, the CEO approach instead puts the focus on the institution. The church itself becomes the focus and purpose of faith, Younger said.
Pastors also should stay out of roles such as social worker or therapist and concentrate primarily on showing others how to pray, read Scripture and to live their faith every day, he said.
But Younger said churches are decreasingly interested in those qualities.
“I’m still a reference for former students, so I have a lot of conversations with church search committees,” he said.
The questions committee members ask are revealing.
“They ask about leadership style and conflict management.”
“As the culture stopped supporting the church, the preaching became more about institutional success and less about the experience of God.”
About two-thirds of the time, Younger said, he has to inject that the candidate loves God and loves the church and is trying to follow Christ.
“They never ask that stuff — almost never. And they seem surprised that I want to tell them that.”
Practically every minister and every church feels these pressures, he said. Going against the grain is difficult.
“It takes enormous self-discipline to walk away from the busy-ness of the church, or the business of the church, to spend time opening yourself up to God,” he said. “And if you don’t spend time somewhere else you cannot bring a word from somewhere else.”
Preaching, once the top quality sought in a pastor, has dropped as the social trends degraded interest in church and faith.
- In Mexico, two priests murdered in same week
- Pentagon: Increase in Cyber attacks since Military Strike against Syria
- Barbara Bush’s pastor: she was ‘spiritually ready to leave this life’
- Stepping down after misconduct allegations, Bill Hybels books halted by publishers
- Rugby’s Israel Folau cleared following gay comment controversy
GQ tells readers to reject the Bible; Franklin Graham responds
It is the best-selling book of all time, and the Holy Bible has also been called the greatest book of all time. However, the editors at GQ...
The Autopsy of a Deceased Church Outreach Ministry
His statement shocked me. To be certain, I knew the anecdotal evidence was not good, but his words surprised me beyond my worst expectations. He had...
Children mimicking celebrities by taking ‘naked selfies’
Children are increasingly taking and sharing explicit images and videos. A report from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said this is a result of a...
Domestic violence: one mother’s grace to forgive her daughter’s killer
A story unfolds of a great tragedy, but it is also a story of forgiveness – sometimes a miracle in itself. There is a call to the judicial system...
It took 1000 coffees, but you've ﬁnished your book...
So where to now?
That's where we come in.
We have a team of publishing professionals ready to help you bring your book from your laptop to the world.
We offer cover design, typeset, eBook conversion, and competitive print prices. Oh and you'll also be on Amazon and thousands of websites worldwide.
Let us help you take the next step.LEARN MORE