I remember

When my good friend Rick Polachek, who at the time was a KC-135 Navigator at Beale Air Force Base, California, and I were having lunch one day. We were talking about serving people, serving God, and just what the Lord was doing in our lives, and in our careers. Rick said the most profound thing to me, and I've remembered it now almost twenty years later:

"Every Christian wants to be a servant. But no Christian wants to be treated like one."

I can't remember when I've heard more truth spoken in such a succint, compact, and powerful manner.

And in those many years since that conversation, I've been reminded of Rick's prophetic words in a multitude of ways.

I've remembered those words when I've seen church staff abused, mistreated, and underpaid--all in the name of "ministry."

I've remembered those words when I've seen volunteers give up lots of their "free time"--Non-paid time, that is--to perform functions that no paid staff would do, and then be regarded as the "servant" and treated as though their personal dignity was of little or no consequence.

I've remembered those times when I ask people to assist in some project of one kind or another. The Lord continually reminds me these people are "His sheep", and not my personal property. They may be "my friends" but they are ultimately HIS SHEEP. I do well not to ever forget that fact.

I strongly and firmly believe in "leadership." But when it comes to the community of faith, I more strongly believe in "shepherding" and "caring" and "tending" to God's flock--because that is what Christ has called all of us to do.

CEO models are great in the "corporate world." These are also necessary in the "corporate world". But when have we been "released" by the Lord to employ the "corporate world" strategies in the functioning of His church?

Something to think about.


Kevin Bussey said...

I agree we need less CEO's. But as the church grows the Senior pastor becomes more of a rancher than a shepherd. He shepherds his leaders and they shepherd their flocks. I think there are misconceptions with the mega church that the Sr. Pastors are untouchable. That may be true with some but Rick Warren actually took time to write me a hand written note.

Phil Hoover, Chicago said...

Kevin, that's great..and you are so right!

Sadly, I couldn't get my former pastor to even return a phone call...

And the congregation was less than 200 people at the time.

But regardless of the "size" of the congregation, pastors are still called to be "shepherds" first and foremost. God will hold them responsible, in my opinion, if that "shepherding" isn't done.

I firmly believe that Pastors can train and should be training/teaching the congregation how to "shepherd" each other. That takes a huge load off the Senior Pastor, and the other "paid staff" of a local church. But that "caring" must be done.