The pastor is the congregation’s shepherd, chaperone, not leader. This I hear quite often when I talk about leading the congregation with members. Being a pastor is usually perceived as being a spiritual task, and often it is said that you don’t lead a congregation like a business. Service work is often seen as fulfilling the needs of the congregation and taking care of the congregation. Ian Jagelman has defined service work as the following:” Service work is a function that serves people’s needs. It includes such duties as preaching, teaching, informing, prayer, visits, nourishing and purifying.” (2013) Is this enough to satisfy the needs set by the modern-day congregation? In a congregation the pastor usually works under the authority and supervision of the council. This is close to a business as the director works between the board and subordinates, is it not? At a church lead by elders, the pastor serves as an intermediary between the elders and the congregation. As the pastor is often in charge of operation of the congregation, leadership must come to the surface. Being a shepherd alone will not take you very far as the legality and regulatory requirements must be considered. It is necessary to be an organizer who is able answer to these issues and take care of the worldly matters as well. A serving leader should bring new outlooks to the congregation and its leadership. “A serving leader has the complete outlook of the congregation, its administration, organization, functions, spiritual nature, and the conditions of the job. It must be the leader’s ability to see the gifts, talents, and abilities of others. A serving leader is able to build important relationships with people through personal interaction.” A pretty big list of requirements which a pastor has complete to lead/ chaperone the flock.
Leadership and service work differ from each other, but, in my opinion, the difference between leadership and service work has become smaller and almost disappeared. It has gotten so far that in both cases we could speak of a serving leader. Would a pastor be a good leader of a secular business? Or would a secular leader be a good leader in the congregation? In my opinion, the current society and it’s changing needs and character present big challenges to a pastor and leading a congregation. Is it possible to be a good pastor and lead as well as chaperone the flock from a purely calling standpoint? I would argue that it isn’t. In my opinion, it is critical to acquire knowledge about leadership and building organization. Leading an organization must include many administrative duties, which cannot be completed without schooling. What about a pastor as the leader of a secular business? The same rules about the necessity of schooling apply here. How would a secular leader pan out in a congregational leadership position? If the question was only taking charge of operations of the congregation, the threshold would not be very high. The job would be the same as that of a secular organization. When you add the spiritual leadership of the congregation on top of that, the big question of an individual being born again comes into question. If an individual owns his calling from God and is born again, in my opinion he is not vey fay from a congregation leader. The search for God’s leadership and a pastor’s schooling is to succeed in service work. Leadership and service work should be seen as the completion of each other and then we would be close to Jesus’ leadership/ shepherd. Optimally we should let the Holy Spirit lead us, change our hearts so that we would look towards God’s face daily and towards his will, and if we do his will, we cannot fail as leaders.