Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I just got home from seminary again… making today another 15 hour day, the last 4.5 hours of which was dedicated to reading, taking notes, and talking about what is the role of the pastor.  It ended in a debate where I tipped the cart over in our class and told them that I thought we had unnecessarily created a gap between the “clergy” and the “laity” in church and that this was not a good thing.  All kinds of Bible verses came up and discussion about apostles and teachers and yatta yatta ensued.

I was lobbying for an elevation of the “priesthood of all believers” and several others in class were calling the idea out as if I was a wishy washy leadership guy who can’t handle anyone taking charge.   We talked about “anointing” and “calling” and “ordination” and such. In the end, I’m not sure we really concluded anything beyond the truth that there is a tension in Scripture where both viewpoints can be supported, which probably means that both views are simultaneously correct and incomplete.

For what it’s worth, here’s how I think “pastoral” leadership should shake out, regardless of the title you put next to your name. I think it’s a “top down from the bottom up”. I ultimately think someone should be called the leader.  But, I also think that someone should sit with the crowd.

LEAD WITH HUMILITY.  If someone needs a title or must constantly introduce themselves with a title, then I wonder if they want to lead or just want to be noticed.  There’s massive difference between leadership and having a leadership position.

LEAD WITH PASSION.  If you don’t want to lead, then please stop and let someone who is passionate about it. We all need leadership that is passionate about their calling and passionate about inviting others to lead in their calling.

LEAD OFF STAGE.  This means, let others shine.  Get out of the way and let others do what God has called them to do. Whenever we can give others the chance to blossom in ministry we produce a Kingdom win for God.

LEAD IN THE FUNK.   Lead in the midst of it not going well. Leadership is messy.  Leadership is about cleaning up the mess together. It also doesn’t fit nicely in a flow chart.  When we lead like Jesus lead, then it’s gonna be funky.  True leadership knows it’s most needed when things are most funky.

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