This is calling out some great stuff.
Counter to Galli’s Article Here’s a quote:
But increasingly, this is not the mission of the church today. In a post-Christendom context, the metaphor of pastor as healer, chaplain, or curer of souls is inadequate to the task and literally killing the church.
When did the mission change? I’ve seen new translations of the scriptures, I haven’t seen many “updates.” I heartily disagree with the second statement as well. In my early ministry in the church, I would have done much better had I been trained as and focused on being a healer, chaplain, or curer of souls” than living in my fantasies of being a leader. I never received much ire from having or not having a vision statement or a good organizational chart. There are a couple of “pastoral calls” I failed to make that I still regret to this day.
Almost 5 years ago Gordon MacDonald wrote this piece that I just found (linked in the above article.) This is insightful and it bears reading and re-reading.
And of course, internetmonk is picking up on it all as well here.
Want some quick, unscientific biblical basis for all this “service instead of leadership” stuff? A quick search of the ESV reveals the following hits “servant”: 504, “leader”: 23. Makes one wonder where we’ve gotten all this “leadership” material in the last 30 years, doesn’t it?
Consider the words of Paul:
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:1-6 ESV emphasis added)
And again in Ephesians:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.(Ephesians 4:1-7 ESV)
Notice that the word leader does not appear in either passage. However there are some very pastoral qualities that Paul emphasizes.
This is a discussion that is long overdue. I pray that it will bear fruit in people’s lives, not just static on the internet.