The CEO trap - Hope 103.2

The CEO trap

By David ReayFriday 9 Jan 2015LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Acts 20:28-31

28 Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock,of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. 29 I know that after I have gone,savage wolves will come in among you,not sparing the flock. 30 Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. 31 Therefore be alert,remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. (NRSV)

The pastor of a church is primarily a shepherd of the sheep. As Paul reminds us,he or she is to guard people against that which would threaten their life in Christ. And even more fundamental than that is the fact they need to guard themselves. Their own spiritual health is primary: sick shepherds are not much use to the sheep.

Given the greater complexity of church life nowadays,it is tempting for a pastor to become the CEO,managing a religious corporation. Given the challenges of growing a church nowadays,it is tempting for the pastor to become a cheerleader,urging people to buy into his or her vision for the church. The vision and the program are the thing.

This is to betray the pastoral vocation. While we need to be competent and even businesslike in leading churches,we have first of all to be relational. We care for people first and foremost,not designing programs,not even preparing sermons. Such things are among the means by which we care for people.

Leadership arises out of care for people,not just a passion for a creed or enthusiasm for a program. Beware of loving ministry and church work above loving those for whom Jesus died.

David Reay