Because he first served us
Sat Dec 07, 2013
by Kimm Crandall
Resurgence Roundup, 12/6/13
Fri Dec 06, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
God the great and powerful (and warm and wonderful)
Thu Dec 05, 2013
by Marsha Michaelis
The top 5 posts of November
Wed Dec 04, 2013
5 reasons to open your blinds
Tue Dec 03, 2013
by Andrew Lisi
The Reforming Pastor: The Wake Up Call
I peered into the open casket of Shericka Hill and then watched the faces of my daughters for emotion as they looked at the face of their dead friend. Shericka was murdered at age 19. Lorenzo Montoya strangled her when she came to his home to perform a private dance. She had been in and out of our church for several years. Despite her infrequent attendance, I was her pastor and I couldn’t escape from the thought that I had failed her. And failure was the spark that ignited my search for a new paradigm of pastoral ministry.
The Different Models
As I surveyed the landscape of evangelical church pastoral models, I saw three prominent features: The CEO, the Cultural Architect, and the Counselor. The CEO pastor leads the church like a dynamic business enterprise. He is a driven visionary, a persuasive communicator, and an organizational guru. His church is always growing. And I wanted the church I was serving to grow. But the more I embraced the CEO role, the more obvious the misfit.
Shericka’s tragic death dramatically drew the curtain back on my failure and forced me to change or quit.
The Cultural Architect is a creative genius. He intuitively sees the place invisible to most where the timeless truths of Christianity intersect with contemporary culture. And he builds the church at that confluence. His church is cool, cranks out amazing art, and captures the attention of the churched and unchurched alike. I too wanted to lead a relevant church. And I am creative. But I’m not an architect. And the two are equally necessary to form an epoxy that holds.
The Counselor thrives in a culture of “therapalooza”. One-on-ones fill his calendar. He is available to everyone to meet as often as desired. He is part social worker and part shepherd. Congregants meet with him and immediately feel loved. His mantra is, “It’s all about relationships,” and he walks the talk. I would like to be him because he seems more lovable than the others. But I learned that I am introverted and not a gifted counselor. My one-on-ones seldom produced results. My preaching suffered, administration became a mess, and the church shrank. But the few who remained felt loved even if they weren’t transformed.
Change or Quit
As I moved from one model to the next, I became more disillusioned and less effective. Shericka’s tragic death dramatically drew the curtain back on my failure and forced me to change or quit. It was during a pastor’s prayer gathering a few months later that Jesus invited me to step away and go for a walk. And after that talk and walk, I began to take the bus to work with a dead pastor named Richard Baxter. And change is too small of a word to describe what happened next.
More to come...
To start this series we wanted to giveaway 5 copies of Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor. Comment on Facebook or Tweet @theResurgence about what your model of pastoral ministry is like to be entered to win.