I was reading Relevant and came upon this article and it reminded me why I have an easy job compared to parish pastors. (Note: I serve 96 congregations and worshiping fellowships in a Middle Judicatory. It’s way more fun than it sounds.)
I am called to resource congregations and their leaders with ideas. But those leaders are the ones called to act on those ideas.
You want to know how to reorganize your governing board? I have several ideas. Want to grow your congregational spiritually? I have suggestions. What to shift your congregation’s culture? I can prompt you. Want to learn how to connect with the neighborhood? Not a problem.
But the professional minister who decides to adopt one of my Big Ideas is the one who pitches the shift to an often skeptical audience, sweats the details, takes the heat, risks her job, places a target on his back. Failure is almost guaranteed.
One of life’s realities is the belief that positive change will come without the excruciating work it takes to make those changes happen. And yet . . .
Bringing life to transformational ideas is the call of the 21st Century Pastor. I don’t know a single church that doesn’t need to make shifts in their outreach, organizational structure and culture. But most of our pastors are not equipped to make these changes without ongoing coaching.
Our seminaries offer excellent academic training, but few teach change management for congregations.
So, this is a long-winded salute to the parish pastors out there who dare to introduce the kind of change that energizes disciples, models abundant living, nurtures spiritual community, and makes it all about God. You are rock stars. You are the future of the church. You fill me with joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.