Friday, November 13, 2009

Pastoral Administration -- a spiritual task?


Whether I like it or not, I'm essentially the CEO of the church. I'm the lone full time professional at the church. The constitution makes it clear that I'm not only the congregation's spiritual leader -- shepherd -- but as the senior minister, I'm also the "executive officer for the total church program and for the church staff." Being an administrator seems so "unspiritual," so foreign to our calling to be spiritual leaders. It sounds like a job of tending to an institution. I realize that for some clergy, this may sound exciting, but for most of us, it's something we have to do as part of our responsibility to the congregation.

But, there is another way of looking at the issue. Bruce and Kate Epperly have written an intriguing new book, which I'm currently reading, called Tending to the Holy, (Alban, 2009). In regards to pastor administration they write:

For spirit-centered pastors, the quest for excellence in administration is not optional. While no one definition exists, the two of us see administration as involving a pastor's overall role in shaping and guiding a congregation's mission through encouraging faithful excellence in congregational leadership, personnel, program, and physical infrastructure. Fidelity to the tasks of preparation, planning, and implementing enables pastors to gain their congregation's trust and provide for responding to their congregant's deepest spiritual and relational needs. (Tending to the Holy, p. 121)


With this definition in mind, we can see this work is not as contrary to our spiritual calling, but a direct expression of it, just like preaching or pastoral care. These tasks must then be undertaken with the same consideration and prayerfulness as any other task.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, we're all multitasking.
Delegate- and you still get to be "The Decider"! David Mc

Davon said...

I have found that the CEO model of the church can be quite damaging to a pastor's spiritual journey. I once believed this and felt like if the church wasn't doing well, then it was my fault. I am only one person and the state of the church shouldn't rest on my shoulders. I need to do what the Lord has called me to do. If it's administration, great, but for me it is not. I need to excel at my gifts and leave the rest undone. After all, if it doesn't get done, it probably isn't that important anyway.