Of all the things I hear church leaders slip into conversation, one of the most persistent is the opinion that a pastor should never adopt the attitudes or habits of a CEO.
Instead, the pastor should be a shepherd and tend the flock.
I recently wrote a post about how having the pastor do most or all of the pastoral care in a congregation permanently stunts the growth of most churches to 200 people or less.
I would also strongly argue that church leaders should rethink their bias against the pastor as CEO.
First, both the model of shepherd and CEO are based in uni-dimensional and unhelpful stereotypes.
Second, because the mission and future of the church are fueled by the growth and potential of our leaders.
Let’s Move Beyond Stereotypes
Let’s move beyond the stereotypes for a moment.
Shepherds are seen as caring, pastoral, gentle and kind.
CEOs are seen as arrogant, brash, selfish, difficult and demanding.
Neither characterization is helpful or, frankly, accurate.
Sure … you can think of CEOs or executive types who fit all the bad stereotypes.
And chances are you’ve made up what a shepherd looks like because, frankly, you’ve never met one. I haven’t.
This Was First-Century Shepherding?
From what I know of first-century shepherds (and I admit, I don’t have a degree in shepherding), it wasn’t all green meadows and sunshine. Shepherding took quite a bit of resolve and strength.
Shepherds had to keep sheep from drinking out of brackish or tainted water and keep them from poisoning themselves.