I sometimes listen to preachers with amazement, if not awe. So many of them are incredibly effective in communicating God’s Word, so much more effective than I ever was or will be. I certainly understand that assessing effectiveness is a very subjective assignment. But, simply put, a number of preachers I have observed are incredible in explaining and applying the Word. As a consequence, God changes lives and saves people.
I realize I might be opening up a controversial conversation. But I think it has to be said.
And I hope you’ll hear me out. If the church is going to reverse some trends and maximize potential, we need more entrepreneurial pastors, not more shepherds. There’s too much at stake to ignore this conversation.
“We can’t seem to recruit and hold on to the volunteers we need.” “We keep trimming our budget, but our people give less and less.” “We’ve launched some great programs, but no one seems passionate about them.” Do comments like this sound familiar to you? Almost every pastor and church leader admits how difficult it can be to cast vision and create passion among the congregation. What can be done? Pastors generally take one of two approaches.
It’s ironic that pastors, who talk the most about the need for community, experience it the least. Our days and nights are filled with calls, meetings, and interactions with people. But despite lots of people contact, we have few trusted peers. We have too many relationships and too few friends.
I recently had the honor of participating the installation service for a friend as he embarked upon his first senior pastorate. I was given the responsibility of preaching the installation sermon. Such sermons usually come in the forms of charges. Since I received no special instructions on my topic I decided to preach a sermon I wished had been preached at my own installation. Rather than charge the new pastor, I oriented my comments toward the congregation. In other words: “What I wish someone would have told my congregation when I first began ministry.”