The single most powerful organizational step your church can take—at least on a human level—is to be organized around the gifts of the Spirit. That means that a church is to be led by people with leadership gifts, taught by people with teaching gifts, shepherded by people with shepherding gifts—the whole nine yards. And that vision is about to change my life.
I'll tell you how in a minute.
I serve as a senior pastor. But I'm not one of those multi-mega-gift guys. I can do about one thing right—and that's on a good day. Whatever gifts I have are primarily centered around communication. So I have been looking and praying for a partner who has great leadership gifts to do ministry with. I love the era in which we get to work. I think it is a time of great innovation in the church. There is something God-like and energizing about creating.
Ron Johnson, the guy who started the Apple stores, says his favorite phrase is "In the beginning … " Part of that innovation involves the people leading in a church. When I was growing up, a group of people forming a church would hire the 'minister' who would do the 'ministry.' But no one would ask what his (it was always a 'him') actual gifts were. The pastor's job description was so big that only Jesus could fulfill it. And I'm not sure even he would want it.
Increasingly churches are recognizing that shepherding and teaching and leading and administrating rarely come in the same package. We have to break old models of church leadership—not to go to new models, but to go back to an even older model—organization around gifts.
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