We all have different giftings and passions. Even in the same field, one person may have a different emphasis than another. When I was in journalism, I worked with writers who focused on sports, features, and “hard news.”
It’s time to see pastors in the same light. There’s not one proper style for church leadership. Most pastors see themselves in a traditional “shepherding” role, but God calls different people to different places at different times. That’s why I love how Alan Hirsch talks about APEPT leadership. People are each gifted with different pieces of the Ephesians 4 model.
I’m more of an “Apostolic” type of guy. I get fired up seeing the church mobilized to serve and reach out to the world around them. I really do believe that if we try to start with ministry, we’ll never get to mission. But if we start with mission, ministry will happen along the way.
So when a guy like Bob Roberts writes something like this, I just have to post it.
If churches, denominations, networks, etc. put as much energy and resources into making disciples as they did organizing events, institutions, etc., I’m convinced it would speed up engagement dramatically. I hate the terminology using “platforms” to engage society. You don’t have to. Make disciples, help them understand their primary ministry is their vocation and that it should be lived out as a disciple and you’ll see God work and move. This is the only way the Gospel can, and will ever, be viral. I heard an incredible preacher last night at a gathering and he said, “too many churches have become like prisons. We’ve built prisons and the pastor is the warden. We should be in the business of releasing–not holding on.”
Preach it, Bob!
Here’s Alan’s take on a similar subject:
If this is not already obvious by now let me say it more explicitly: the quality of the church’s leadership is directly proportional to the quality of discipleship. If we fail in the area of making disciples we should not be surprised if we fail in the area of leadership development. I think many of the problems that the church faces in trying to cultivate missional leadership for the challenges of the 21st century would be resolved if we were to focus the solution to the problem on something prior to leadership development per se, namely that of discipleship first. Discipleship is primary, leadership is always secondary. And leadership, to be genuinely Christian, must always reflect Christlikeness and therefore…discipleship.