Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pastors: Leaders or Managers?

My friend John Armstrong raises a very good question about the role and duty of pastor in his recent blog post Are Our Pastors Leaders or Managers?  He cites a Barna survey where only 8% of pastors see themselves as having the gift of leadership.  He sees a need for a radical change in how we view leadership in terms of leaders and laity.  I tend to agree with him.

He cites Ephesians 4, where leaders are given to the church not to manage it nor to do the ministry themselves, but to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.  Ephesians 4:11-13:

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
I'm convinced that this is a two-way problem.  How people in the pews view leadership is just as important as how the leaders do.  Of course, when people expect pastors to be managers and pastors see themselves as managers, then they will likely act like managers.  I hope this can be worked on from both ends.


  1. It could be argued that, as Frank Viola and others have said, Christ should be the "Leader". That would mean that pastors as managers is appropriate.

  2. Joel, I haven't read Viola (yet, anyway). I'd like to hear more about this, and whether his idea of manager would be the same as Armstrong's.