Thursday, October 21, 2010

Consequence 2 of cowboy/corporate pastoring; ineffective members

First of all, I hope that the claims I am making here are not borne out in fact; if some of what I say is, or becomes, wrong, I rejoice.

That said, if "cowboy" or corporate pastoring leads to spiritual immaturity in the flock, we can also assume that the same will lead to ministry ineffectiveness.  To draw a picture from a corporate setting, my managers were surprised to learn that my knowledge of German was sufficient (mostly) to interact with one of our suppliers, even though this appears on my resume.  A huge failing on their part?  No; it's simply what Hayek and others would call the "problem of knowledge"; one man cannot possibly hold every bit of information for ready use.

In a church setting, the pastor and deacons will not--especially if they are driving the sheep--realize that the person they need for redecorating the Sunday school rooms is a quiet young lady with gifts like Martha Stewart's.  She's been "driven" into the corner.  The guy they need to rework the roof?  Sitting in another corner.  The guy whose initiative could canvass the entire city in a week with flyers for the Christmas program?  He's been goaded into stretching his voice to a mediocre tenor in the choir.

You see, if we're going to exercise gifts like those described in 1 Corinthians 12 and elsewhere, a corporate approach will be problematic, as it tends to put square pegs in round holes.  If gifts are to be used, they need to be discovered in a way consistent with that of the Scriptures, not John Wayne or Dale Carnegie.

An example; a couple of churches ago, I was the deacon (by inclination) for nurseries, and was surprised to see two women come forward to arrange the nursery schedule and cleaning.  Nobody ever asked them, but they did a far better job than I could have.  Another decided to make Sunday mornings easier by calling nursery workers a day ahead of time.

What had happened?  The pastor, to this day a dear friend, had simply mentioned to the congregation that when people served in the nursery, parents (especially moms) were free to relax and listen to the sermon.  Fully 2/3 of the adults signed up from a church that had previously had few children in attendance.  So when Pastor Devries preached on Ephesians 5:22-33 and a baby boom ensued, we were ready.

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