The Pastor as Preacher AND as Leader

I'm reading this book I grabbed from Family Christian Store in Huntsville, Alabama entitled 360-Degree Leadership: Preaching to Transform Congregations. The author, Michael J. Quicke, is arguing that preaching has been almost despised in our world that lifts up leadership. But the two are not mutually exclusive. If we lift up leadership without lifting up preaching, the preaching becomes (as he characterizes it) "thin-blooded" rather than "full-blooded." (Full-blooded preaching expresses "the vital and invigorating task of being Christ's ambassadors staking the future on gospel truth.")

There are places in my denomination that employ varying processes for calling pastors to their churches when a pulpit becomes vacant. I have heard of one such congregation that seems to want to run their own church and just call a pastor to only preach while they take care of the leadership. Another example that comes to mind is of one preacher who told me that someone else actually chaired his board. And still other examples exist of "pulpit pastors" and "administrative pastors." The roles are separated so that the one who brings the Word in worship is not necessarily the one who leads the congregation to accomplish its mission in its community. I found the following paragraph on page 33 of Quicke's book particularly insightful in light of this developing trend within pockets of my own denomination:
Caught in the middle between churches devouring leadership concepts and secular leadership toying with spiritual language, many preachers find themselves in lose-lose situations. Restricted to teaching private spiritual concerns, their effectiveness is increasingly judged by material criteria. Commended for winning new members and keeping old members in profitable organizations, preachers are progressively more regarded as dispensable employees. Aubrey Malphurs complains that ministry is commonly practiced as a "hired hand concept" rather than viewed as the spiritual gift of leadership, enabling the whole church to express ministry (Eph. 4:11-13). "Where did this hired-hand concept come from? It is primarily cultural. In fact, 85 to 90 percent of what the typical church does today is influenced by its culture . . . not the Bible." One pastor wrote me an email: "Everything boils down to whether the local church views the pastor as employee or leader." Another pastor warned: "You'll never be able to bridge the gap between the pulpit and the board. I'm allowed to teach Bible truths. Other people run the church!" Preachers are employed to teach but others are to lead. Since the same leadership skills apply equally to churches and secular organizations, lay leaders argue that preachers should do their job while they practice leadership.


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