mgpcpastor's blog


Leave a comment

Some Questions About ‘Tiger Pastoring’ (via Peter Ko at Gospel Coalition Australia)

Peter Ko explains that ‘tiger parenting’ is what happens when parents push their children hard to succeed.
He goes on to add that church leadership could fall into ‘tiger pastoring’ and create, either directly or indirectly, thoughts in a congregations minds that they constantly have to strive hard to grow.
Usually in a pattern of activities established by the church leadership.
Apart from issues of busyness, he wonders if the model really stacks up biblically:

Does healthy Christian growth require us to apply our model of ‘tiger pastoring’? Or is God powerfully at work by his Spirit, through his Word, so that if his sheep are fed and taught well, and are guarded and cared for by good shepherds, they will grow?
Back to the analogy of parenting, isn’t it healthier to assume that if a child is given his or her basic necessities: food, shelter, clothing, security, schooling, friendships etc., that child will naturally grow and flourish? Could it be that in our well-motivated desire to shepherd our people well, we’ve stopped trusting that Christ will help his people and his body to grow and flourish if the basics are given to them? Corporate worship, faithful teaching and preaching, a church community, and leaders who will guard the truth and fight error. Is there much more that’s needed for healthy Christian growth?

Read the whole article here.


Leave a comment

Pastoral Leadership Capital (via Marty Duren)

A couple of articles by Marty Duran about ‘Pastoral Leadership Capital’ which is a term for the trust that a pastor can build with a congregation that enables needed change to be implemented, or even mis-steps to be forgiven and moved on from.

There are two parts here and here.

Part one.

In my opinion, Pastoral Leadership Capital shares some components of business-oriented leadership capital, but likely gains more through the relational experiences unique to pastoring. Pastoral Leadership Capital is gained through ministry in times of grief (funerals, loss of jobs, loss of health), times of joy (visiting during new births, weddings), personal discipleship, compassion, long-tenure, and other life-sharing events or journeying together spiritually. In most instances, this differs from business.
When a pastor says, “I think God is leading us to…” make a certain change or take on a certain challenge, perhaps unconsciously, the congregation evaluates whether said pastor has enough capital to “buy” their involvement. Has he “earned” the right to ask for their support and lead the endeavor? The pastor may have intellectual capacity, understand the church’s power dynamics, and be of sound financial mind. But, how long has he been on the field? Has he walked them through the valley of the shadow of death? Has he earned trust?
If not, the pastor may be leading on hopes and wishes rather than capital.

Read the whole post here.

Part two.

The flip side of good decisions that increase capital are bad decisions that destroy it. Bad decisions that eat away at your capital like fees through a checking account. Blunders—accidental or simply unwise—reduce available capital. Carnality, ignoring the family, and other things that undermine credibility could lead to an account balance so far underwater the pastor’s own family would struggle with a vote of confidence.
Building capital can be arduous. Do not allow fees to consume it leaving you nothing to spend when needed.
Every “win” of leadership earns capital for future leadership decisions. And, the better your decisions the quicker you may see your spent capital replenished. Smart investments lead to good rewards.

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

Aspiring To Effectiveness In Leadership (via Ron Edmondson)

Ron Edmondson lists seven characteristics of growing and effective leaders.
The mission Jesus has given us demands leaders strive into all these areas.

The list.

  1. Humility. Great leaders are willing to surrender “their” way when it’s not the best way. They realize and appreciate the strength of a team.
  2. Intentionality. Great leaders continue to learn. They have mentors. They read. They continue their education through conferences or school. They know they can’t help others grow if they aren’t personally growing.
  3. Compassion. Great leaders consider the needs of others ahead of their own. They care about people beyond what people can do for them personally.
  4. Integrity. Great leaders never separate character from their definition of quality or success. They know there can be nothing of real value if those who are trying to follow can’t give their respect to the leader.
  5. Passion. Great leaders have the ability to rally a team and articulate the path to victory. They can communicate to spur momentum and garner support.
  6. Vision. Great leaders see things others can’t see or, for whatever reason failed to pursue. They take people where they need to go, but may be afraid to go on their own.
  7. Strength. Great leaders have the discipline to follow through on commitments. They weather the storms of time. They are still standing firm when others are dropping out of the race.

Source.


Leave a comment

How Churches Become Too Busy And Less Effective (via Thom Rainer)

Thom Rainer attempts to describe how churches can become focussed on their activities to the detriment of mission and ministry.
He has eight points.

  1. Activities became synonymous with ministry.
  2. Programs and ministries are added regularly, but few or none are ever deleted.
  3. Programs and ministries become sacred cows.
  4. The alignment question is not asked on the front end.
  5. Silo behavior among the different ministries of the church.
  6. Lack of an evaluation process.
  7. Ministry becomes facility-centered.
  8. Lack of courageous leadership.

You can read his background comments on the points here.


Leave a comment

The Creeping Trend Of Church Absenteeism (via Murray Lean)

Helpful article about church absenteeism by Murray Lean at Gospel Coalition Australia.
It’s most pitched toward leaders, but the content is helpful for everyone concerned about personal and corporate spiritual growth and well-being.
Among the accessible content is a list of the downsides that sporadic attendance cultivates:

  • Loss of the “spurring-on effect” of regular interaction with other believers
  • Gaps in the continuity of systematic Bible teaching
  • Inability to commit to serving in Sunday ministries, especially children’s programmes
  • Impact on children who miss the regularity of involvement in their weekly Sunday groups
  • Increase in the workload on the “committed core” who are faithfully there week by week
  • General discouragement of the rest of the church family who miss out on the fellowship of friends
  • Poor example to children and less mature Christians
  • General devaluation of the Lord’s Day
  • Weakening of overall connection with and commitment to the local church family, and enhancing the privatizing of faith

And there’s also a list of suggestions about how to respond pastorally:

  • Remind people from the pulpit of the positives of regular attendance, including its impact on others in the church family
  • Preach relevant passages that reinforce commitment to the local church, and also the harm caused by absenteeism
  • Ask yourself whether there are good reasons why people can’t be in church regularly e.g. Does the time of the service need to be more family friendly? Is the preaching boring?
  • Make a note of people who are irregular attenders and speak personally (and gently) with them about it. Some might have good reasons for their irregularity. (This obviously requires some form of record keeping.)
  • Use elders, small group leaders and pastoral carers in this process
  • Work at building fellowship within the church family e.g. meals, hospitality, creating a space for mingling after services

Read the whole post here.


Leave a comment

A Simple Formula For Church Administration (via Jared Olivetti)

At Gentle Reformation Jared Olivetti offers a formula that seeks to narrow the gap between communication practice and communication desired outcomes.

The formula is: Information + Inclusion = Importance & Involvement
+++
So before we start pointing fingers at congregation members for not showing up to work days or not “buying in” to the latest ministry, it may help to re-examine how well the leaders are informing and including in every possible way they can. Often, by examining and evolving in these areas, we will see involvement increase as people understand how valued they by their church family.

Read the rest of the explanation here.


Leave a comment

Ways To Develop Congregational Singing (via Jeremy Armstrong)

This article was titled 10 Things I Did Not Do that Improved My Congregation’s Singing and it takes the negative to achieve a positive outcome path.
These points are all helpful, with some more relevant in our situation than others.
The point is that there are pressures on church music and its presentation to conform to a model, and often the outcome of that model is decreased congregational singing.

If they look interesting go and check out the article where they are expanded upon.

1. I did not turn the lights down.
2. I did not turn the sound up.
3. I did not try to sound like the YouTube video.
4. I did not try lengthy or frequent instrumental solos.
5. I did not try the newest worships songs.
6. I did not try to get rid of their old favorite songs.
7. I did not try to greatly expand the song library.
8. I did not try rhythmically challenging melodies.
9. I did not try too many songs in a worship service.
10. I did not have my band play on every verse and chorus.

Read the whole post here.