Pastor as CEO or Shepherd

Yet the pressure on the pastor – as well as elders and deacons – can be great.  With the multiplication of ministers on staff, it is easier to gravitate toward a more hierarchical business model.  And it is less likely that the sheep will come into physical contact with their shepherd when they are consumers of a service that a CEO oversees.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 119

Their Position is Wholly Different

Pastors may have some wonderful things to say, and some personal stories to make us feel connected to them.  But in their office they are no longer private persons but Christ’s ambassadors.  Through this office, assigned to them, God himself judges, justifies and commands.  Similarly, elders rule and deacons serve on Christ’s behalf – not in their persons, but in assembly as office bears.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 115

The Ministry of the Church

The ministry of the church is God’s service to us through pastors, teachers, elders and deacons, which generates a thankful community of genuine gift giving that overflows to the world.  The kingdom of God is something we are receiving, not something we are building (Hebrews 12:28)

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 233

What Are We to Expect of Our Pastors and Teachers?

Pastors and teachers are not cruise directors who provide venues for everyone to channel all of their gifts and energies to the church, but they are deliverers of the message of Christ (Colossians 1:28-29)

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 230

What Do You Look for in a Spiritual Leader?

Instead of being concerned that our spiritual leaders faithfully interpret Scripture and are sent by Christ through the official ordination of His church, we are more concerned that they exude vulnerability, authenticity, and the familiar spontaneity that tells us that they have a personal relationship with Jesus.  Everything perceived as external to the self – the church, the gospel, the Word and sacraments, the world, and even God – must either be marginalized or, in more radical versions, rejected as that which would alienate the soul from its immediacy to the divine.

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 169