Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bucks and Buns

 "Bucks on the plate and buns on the pew" are "markers" for measuring the health of a church; this I learned from Pastor Tod Bolsinger's recent blog post titled Learning to Lead All Over Again (the reference is clearly tongue-in-cheek, so I hope you are chuckling, intrigued, not shocked). I agree with Tod that pastors need to lead their flock differently. The deification, slave-ification (I made this word up to mean the subtle institutional behavior (and accompanying pressures) that the pastor sometimes faces from the congregation he serves), and his/her centrality to church programming (ministry) is a strong tendency of American congregations. Yes, its lonely at the top, and groupie-like behavior is unknowingly facilitated by some pastors. On the other hand, pastors can also be made to feel like every single member of the congregation is their boss. I'd come to view all this as a cultural difference but really, I shouldn't.  For any church, following Christ, God must be at the center; each member of the congregation, pastor included, must be passionately fulfilling his calling, participating in God's work in our world, and in the process affirming and nourishing passive (and out of the fold) others into their calling, becoming the person God created them to be, like Jesus. The lesson Tod shares is one to which pastors and laity should pay heed; laity especially should take the responsibility for training their pastors to lead us in such a way.  If we do so, we will see the fruit in many things beyond plain bucks and buns :).

...it all began with understanding that for our church mission to "win" I had to "lose".

I had to lose power and control, I had to lose "say" over aspects of the mission, and I had to lose my place at the center in order for our mission and vision to be even more central in our church. I had to lose my status as the expert and learn to lead all over again.
Source: Bolsinger, Tod. Learning to Lead All Over Again.

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