Friday, June 02, 2006

Spiritual Leadership and the Corporate Model

Jim Collins the author of the Good to Great phenomena recently published an addendum to his book to show churches and non profits how to evaluate the effectiveness of their ministry. He explained that the Non-Profit group obviously has a different bottom line than the corporate model. Duh! At the same time Andy Stanley said in an interview (Leadership Spring 06) that "there is nothing distinctly spiritual about his leadership" at North Point church. The 20,000 member church must be warmed and excited about that comment!

The issue is how do we evaluate the effectiveness of ministry? bodies in the pews? bucks in the Basket? Buildings? I think that biblical model of evaluating effectiveness is the number of people being moved toward ministry. If we take Eph 4.11f seriously (and I am not sure Stanley does) we need to be bring people into the kingdom, maturing them and equipping them and moving them into some form of service to Christ.

Seems to me the problem with the Megachurch concept is that it is consolidating alot of smaller churches and filling the leadership roles with very competent individuals but moving a smaller and smaller number of people into ministry. Getting more done with less. In corporate america that is efficiency. In the Kingdom of God it is disobedience!

While there is much to be learned from a corporate mindset there is much difference. Megachurches tend to do Jack Squat in the poor areas of the city. There the people, because of the complexity of their problems, demand more than a fine "howdy do" at the doorway of the church. I would guess that Andy Stanley has not sat with a crack addict on the curb at 11:30 pm for a little while. His take on the difference is that some are called to leadership. That is why he thinks the concept of 'pastoring' is a "first century concept". And proposes that we stop talking about pastors as shepherds. He feels more comfortable with the terms CEO or director. Stanley says the difference, according to his thinking, is that of leadership. Shepherds are "non-leaders". But Jesus talked about the difference between the shepherd and the hirling (Jn. 10) and declares a difference in the quality of love delivered. The irony here is that while the public eschews the corporate models, and with the Enrons and Worldcom debacles still on the front page- the church is increasingly abandoning the biblical call to ministry in the terms Jesus used and embracing those that are despised even by the secular world.

Hmmm - the reason I think that more people than ever are drawn to the Megachurch is that there is little for them to do- and fewer to get in their face and point out their hypocrisy and laziness. What percentage of North Point is involved in ministry leadership? Are they raising people to full time ministry? I'd sure like to know.

Maybe the idea is that since God is a shepherd (Ps 23) he wants his leaders to be shepherds? Or maybe he just wants us all to be CEO's- what do you think?


WDJD said...

recently i have been experiencing some things in ministry that i have never seen before. i am not 100% sure what is going on in the church, but i have a few ideas. it seems no matter what the size of the church is there is no willingness to serve in ministry. it appears leaders in the church today refuse to hold anyone accountable or to higher expectations. when i say higher expectations, i mean biblical higher expectations not man made expectations. is it wrong for us to tell church members they are wrong, sinning, lazy, or that they need to serve? these are all biblical trus, but no one is mentioning them to anyone. the minute you say something, you are marked as being legalistic, controlling, dominating, or offensive to people. this is ridiculous! i believe that when someone comes to CHRIST he or she should be immediately held to high biblical expectations in efforts to keep them saved, accountable, and a non-compromising christian. the fact is most church's (mine included) refuse to hold people to high biblical expectation, i mean it is preached over the pulpit but the buck stops there, no one is enforcing GODS word in the church, that is what it is for "rebuke and correction" but we are not hearing all that. no matter the size of the church (small, medium, or mega) no one is using the "get in their face and point out their hypocrisy and laziness" method. and this is why most christians today are living loose, liberal, and most importantly not according to GODS word. when a shepard looses a sheep, and when he finds the sheep, he breaks it's leg, and nurses it back to health, this is a method they use so the sheep will now who their shepard is. it is time we start breaking some legs in the church, because at this point all we have is a bunch of wondering sheep. i read an article not long ago saying that "people are looking to have an evident change in their life and be held to high expectation when they come to CHRIST" (apply higher biblical expectations here)I hope in my efforts that i am able to apply what GOD is calling me to do with all that come to know CHRIST, as for those who are set in their ways and refuse to change, GOD help them all.

Pastor Dave said...

don't know if it is true that no one is say that people are wrong, sinning or lazy. I think I hear that all the time. I think that people are hard hearted and I question some of their willingness to serve Christ! If that is their state how effective is getting in their face?

Roger G said...

People are gonna do what they wannna do and it would be great if open rebuke worked but many just don't care. Its me, myself and I in charge, even in Christians. I met a "Christian" who is very involved in their Church and even the Pastor is related to them. They are not living for God so of course they are now on my prayer list. If Christians are doing the same or worse how can we expect to do great things for God??? By keeping our hand to the plow and not looking back. What someone else does shouldn't affect our walk with God. We as soldiers aren't supposed to get involved in civilian affairs. In life if we miss too many days or don't do our job we get fired. If I don't pay my mortgage I won't have a home. If someone asks for help and doesn't listen to what I say I stop talking to them and I keep praying for them. Imagine sitting in a field and waiting for a seed to grow that we just planted. I would go crazy!! We do our job as Christians and move on. We do what we can and if we're honest in our lives in what we do God see's it and if we're wrong God will tell us. Today will always be the best or worse day of our lives depending on us. Life is good and so is God. Satan is a liar and his attitude stinks. Choose life or death? Do I want a bowl of chili or a bowl of runny, day old, maggot infested dog crap? Decisions may not be as hard as we make them out to be.

Roger G said...

Whoever wdjd is I'm glad your not my Pastor because I don't want my legs broke when I fail and I fail each day. I went to a church where the Pastor started yelling at some of us because we weren't writing down what he was saying. He rebuked us in front of the whole church and made examples of us. My wife and I soon left that church. Its good to hold each other accountable but he that has no sin cast the first stone. The reality is there is no one righteous, no not one. I used to think like you and found myself being like those who I was judging. Jesus had supper with Judas who betrayed him and who kissed him as he turned Jesus in. While we were sinners Christ died for us. This may be the example of how we need to treat others, considering others above ourselves.

moko said...

If there are no longer shepherds I'm leaving the church! The only reason I'm not sitting in some megachurch is because I know that pastor will speak and disappear behind some curtain and never have a single thought about me. He'll never know my heart, or even care what happens in my life. He won't care if I serve or not, or if anyone within that church is mentoring me, or if I'm being lead into service or ministry. My shepherd has been there for me for 10 years! He has selfLESSly sat with me for hours after a service listening to my thoughts/problems and advising me, he's come to my home during marital crisis', he's reached out to my spouse, my children, and has given of himself and his time repeatedly to the point I can no longer keep track. I know that he and his wife hold me accountable for my actions, words and choices. The are brutally honest with me and don't hesitate to rebuke me when necessary. They lovingly, patiently and diligently keep me on the right track (it may have a lot to do with being teachable and receptive to correction, and a desire to become more like Christ). I have grown spiritually because of this personal attention and I am forever grateful that the shephard God has overseeing me, really sees me!