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February 17, 2013
When someone speaks of a “CEO Pastor” they are typically referring to a top down, isolated head leader, sole decision maker model of pastoral leadership. It might be structured to look something like the chart below:
a Church leadership model of the past?
By Leighton Flowers
Referring to someone as a “CEO” (Chief Executive Officer) is not necessarily a compliment in today‟s world. People tend to think of these leaders as materialistic, money grubbing, power hungry, arrogant, isolated individuals. That does not stop our culture from encouraging the next generation to aspire to such heights, nor does it discourage our churches from adopting a similar structure of leadership. The term „senior pastor‟ derives its roots from the American corporate business model. You may have heard the vernacular as “senior partner” or “senior executive.” These are the individuals entrusted with all the major decisions and direction of the organization. They become the face of the institution, the king, the decision maker, and the final authority.
Referring to someone as a “CEO” (Chief Executive Officer) is not necessarily a compliment in today‟s world. People tend to think of these leaders as materialistic, money grubbing, power hungry, arrogant, isolated individuals. That does not
stop our culture from encouraging
the next generation to aspire to such heights, nor does it discourage our churches from adopting a similar structure of leadership. The term
This model puts the pastor on a pedestal, of sorts, making him appear aloof, more important, less fallible than those surrounding him. Tragically, it also tends to lift him to such heights that the tumble down is most certainly a fatal one.
and he is in heaven. and as long as pastors practice what they preach they would not be subject to this type of correction.' "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi. And do not call anyone on earth 'father. Each of you should look not only to your own interests. you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert. but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. blind guides! (Matthew 23:1-16) Does the CEO model square with the Some may read this passage scripture? and conclude that Jesus’ rebuke was only necessary because these Pharisees we hypocritical. that is a given.Page 2 OF 3 While addressing the “CEO’s” of his day. affirmed their gifts. teachers of the law and Pharisees. The greatest among believers are those who humble themselves and serve. and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. but made himself nothing. "Woe to you. and when he becomes one.' for you have one Father. but in humility consider others better than yourselves. not those who work their way “up the corporate latter” to a place of higher authority over others. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders. they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues. for they do not practice what they preach. He nurtured relationships with his team. they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi. you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. The greatest among you will be your servant. "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long.' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. and empowered them to do great things. Jesus does not hold back: Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. taking the very nature of a servant. loved them deeply. Jesus clearly teaches his church not to promote titles of honor or superiority. and even went as far as giving up his own life for theirs. all honor and all glory back to Christ. You yourselves do not enter. teachers of the law and Pharisees. And being . held them accountable. being made in human likeness. being in very nature God. but also to the interests of others. He washed their feet. you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. But do not do what they do. "Woe to you. Paul reminded the church in Philippi of this truth when he wrote: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. the Christ. Just look at the impact of the team he built after he left the earth.' for you have one Teacher. but what model of leadership has Christ given for us to follow? I believe Jesus was the greatest team-builder to ever walk on the face of the earth. equipped them. "Woe to you. Nor are you to be called 'teacher. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who. but to point all authority. Churches certainly require leadership. But. nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Is the Pastor isolated in his leadership? Does he have direct. Do those serving on staff feel valued as a part of the leadership team? Do they feel they are with him on this team or do they feel they merely report to him? 3.3 found in appearance as a man.” where some are called to be apostles. 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family. Does your church put more emphasis on inviting people to events and programs of the church or to Christ? 6. George Barna. Do you since the authority of the church is Christ and His Word. shepherds.) . he humbled himself and became obedient to death-. God tells us to humble ourselves. 4:12-13) Questions to Ponder: 1. regular accountability for his decisions and actions? 2. 50% feel they are unable to meet the demands of the job.” (Eph. attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Does the pastor regularly remind the congregation that Christ is the head of the church.even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:3-8) God’s kingdom turns the American corporate dream on its ear. so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature. promote ourselves. Has your church or its ministers put themselves in a place over your life that only Christ can fill? 7. equipped and encouraged to fulfill their calling by their pastor? 4. prophets. 70% of pastors constantly fight depression. 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged. 66% of members expect a minister and their family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves. and Pastoral Care inc. treat others as more important. 80% of pastor’s spouses wish their spouse had a different profession. and rise to the top by aspiring to the highest place of authority in your field. (statistics provided by The Fuller Institute. I know what you should do…do you have a minute?” IS BEING THE CEO HEALTHY? 90% of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week. Do those on staff feel trusted. we know you can turn this place around! We are counting on you! By the way. 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands. not any person? Do his decisions and actions reflect that he really believes this? 5. 70% say they have a lower self-image now then when they first started. Have pastors and the churches they lead adopted the world’s vision or God’s? Does the CEO model of leadership in the church undermine the doctrine known as “The Priesthood of Every Believer. 70% say they do not have someone they consider a close friend. empowered. and teachers to “equip his people of the works of service. 33% confess having been involved in inappropriate sexual behavior. 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families. The world tells us to play to our strengths. or the pastor and the staff? “We love you Pastor. and lead by serving. evangelists.
Humble. but that may be the very cause of unrealistic expectations and the high rates of pastoral burnout.CEo Model Ruler Above Expert versus Pastor‟s who are working in the CEO model don‟t necessarily exhibit all the negative attributes represented here. The danger of an unhealthy structure is that it can negatively affect an otherwise good leader. not just one member of it. Pastors are often carrying a burdened that should be shouldered by the entire body. vision and Team Model Leader With Learner Isolated Others are Accountable (alone) Insulated (surrounded) Mutually Accountable Share every Responsibility According to Gifts The Buck Stops with US Consensus Builder Servant Humble Let‟s Seek Out God‟s Way Follow Christ Seek to Please Christ Delegate the undesirable Responsibilities The Buck Stops with ME Decision Maker Served Arrogant My Way or the Highway Follow Me Seek to Please Me . not the American corporate model. The team building approach encourages shared responsibilities and mutual accountability where the leader is surrounded by a support team that owns the decisions. The structure should promote a biblical approach to leadership. Christ-like pastors often operate at a church with the CEO structure in place.
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