I shared yesterday my desire to lead a congregation into a new vision while honoring the work of the past.
Especially in the work of the Pastorate. I have been reading a great book, The Vine & The Trellis, whose premise is that congregations spends way to much time on the institution of church (the trellis) rather than attending the vine (discipleship & growth).
One very poignant chapter suggests that the most effective pastor is one who is a preacher & trainer. That they are training the leaders (Deacons, Elders, Chaplain) for the ministry of the church. The idea is that the pastor can only effectively engage with 100-150 people. So we have a capacity. BUT, if we train the leaders to do ministry, then our capacity is multiplied.
This is a very different model than the preacher & caregiver. This model sees the pastor as the only one with the authority or effectiveness to visit, lead and teach. This model is old and is the cause of burnt out pastors (including me a few years ago!). It is the role of a chaplain. Not a church planter.
So… my challenge is to love those who need a chaplain until the leaders are trained to take the role of minister (He did say we were to be a Kingdom of Priests!). This is way out of my comfort zone–but hey, I am begging the congregation ALL OF THE TIME to leave theirs.
“God, please give me the grace, patience and TIME to meet with those who cannot see past the model of pastor as personal chaplain. Raise from within a group of men willing to take on the role of ministry and equip them with your grace. Use me, O Lord, as a coach, a trainer, building up your people and cultivating in them the work You are doing. Allow that I may listen before speaking and take criticism with discernment. Lord, please use me and MBBC to move your Kingdom forward. Amen.”