3. I’m concerned about pastors who are a chief executive instead of a contemplative sage.
The pastor is called to a contemplative life of prayer and study of the word (Acts 6:4). From that life, his ministry flows to the church.
The pastor was never called to be a rockstar communicator or benchmark business leader. He was called to model redemption and shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-4).
Perhaps pastors should consider putting away their John Maxwell and Nelson Searcy books and picking up the Bible and the church fathers.
4. I’m concerned about pastors who use the pulpit to milk members instead of minister to the saints.
It was the angry atheist Richard Dawkins who asked Ted Haggard (back in the day) why he needed a multimillion-dollar sound system that paralleled that of MTV to teach people about God. I think that’s a question that deserves an answer.
Why do pastors need to build bigger and better on the backs of God’s people?
I think the answer may be rooted in the human heart. Francis Chan seemed to have caught that vision when he was still pastor in Simi Valley. And if we think we need to build bigger barns, perhaps we should pray about church planting as a viable alternative.
5. I’m concerned about pastors who make growing the church the goal instead of glorifying God the goal.
There is no biblical mandate for growing the church. Sure, there is one for propagating the gospel and making disciples. But the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. There is nothing in Scripture, except pride, that drives pastors to drive the flocks they are supposed to be tending.
6. I’m concerned about pastors who build their ministry with people instead of building people by the ministry.
It seems I’ve said this already, just differently. But here I’m speaking to a philosophy that often underlies many of the abuses in the church.
For example, a well-known megachurch pastor once advised me to think of people in seven-year terms. He explained that people generally burn out after seven years. And if I wanted to build a big ministry for God, I would need to leverage those seven years.
Funny, I don’t recall God asking pastors to leverage his people for the pastor’s dream of building a big church for God.