Team Contacts
1.800.622.6549 (LA only)

Bill Robertson, Director Pastoral Leadership Team
ext. 291

JoLynn Chesser, Administrative Assistant
ext. 292

Stacy Morgan, Church Administration Strategist
ext. 293

Dianne York, Administrative Assistant
ext. 231

Eddie DeHondt, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - North

Gary Mitchell, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - South
ext. 294

Benjamin Harlan, Music Strategist
ext 234


Pastoral Team

Pastor, is Your Practice Well? 

Words like "endangered species" and "extinction" are well-known. [1]  Among the many reasons for endangerment are loss of habitat, wildlife trade and competition with domestic and non-domestic animals.  Before an animal can receive protection under the "Endangered Species Act," it must first be placed on the government's list of endangered and threatened wildlife.    


There is another "species" on the verge of extinction.  Though not readily recognized, this group is indeed an endangered population.  And undoubtedly, there will never be a "law" created to protect these vital contributors to society.  The parallel is clear-the group is biblical pastors.  And, pastors regularly fall into unbiblical habits of ministerial practice, due to unbiblical expectations. 

Understanding Extinction 

There are many reasons for such endangerment.  The chief reason is a loss of habitat.  Herein, animals are misplaced by the destruction of their normal and natural surroundings.  Their environment is irreparably altered, severely crippling the possibility of survival. 

Biblical pastors are no different.  With the onslaught of the church growth movement, biblical pastors are losing their habitat.  Many churches have opted for the secular design over the spiritual dynamic.  The ensuing business mindset exchanges a biblical pastor for a Chief Executive Officer. 

Herein, the worldly model encapsulates the local body.  Church members become shareholders.  Deacons and/or elders become board of directors.  And, the bottom line is the bottom line. Ministry becomes business and it is focus is only profit.  More of everything.  More nickels and noses.  More buildings and baptisms.  More services and staff.  Wasn’t Baal worship the desire for ungodly increase?  Where are the real prophets? 

Yes, a church should desire growth, but the primary focus should be the health of the body, not the breadth of the body.  Yet, many churches are more concerned with numerical expanse over spiritual depth.  Lest we forget Jesus' teaching on the "wheat and tares," an increase in numbers cannot always be equated with an increase in health  (Mt. 13:24-30; 36-43).  Not all growth is healthy.  It can be downright cancerous.  

Pastors who do not comply are ridiculed, reprimanded and often rejected.  Rather than passionately encouraging the biblical fruit of faithfulness within his life, 

many congregations demand that he meet their "sales quota." [2]  Simply stated, the pastor is pressured to produce numbers to appease those who supply and sign his paycheck. 


Reality.  Have you stopped to truly evaluate your pastoral culture?  In order to teach someone to swim, he has to first be saved from drowning. 

Response.   How do you reply to an honest assessment of your pastoral climate?  Seeking to change the dynamic will likely be painful, but successful surgery usually is.  

Resiliency.  Will you be fervent in evaluating your situation?  Sometimes, another set of glasses may be the best lens for 20/20 vision. 

 © Jim Fisher, Ph.D.
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC.
Fit for the Fight, May 2011 

 [1] [1] Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006. 

 [2]  Miller, Steve.  2003.  C.H. Surgeon on Spiritual Leadership, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press), 58. 


Fit For The Fight - Current Issue

Fit for the Fight 02-2013
Added 6/4/2013 12:02:30 PM

“Pastor, what do you think about leadership?”  February 2013

The myriad usages of  “leadership” often obscure its origination.[1] Etymology reminds us that the meaning finds its roots in the idea of  “guiding, directing, and traveling.”  Consequently, a leader takes someone along on a journey, with a clear destination.

The Leadership Example

Christians seek to be like Him...a servant.  Leading is serving and serving is leading.  The source material for the footprints and fingerprints of Jesus is found in the Bible. Inspiration and direction come from studying Scripture, praying through the revealed Truth.  While there are official titles and positions for leadership, such labels are unnecessary to lead.  Everyone has a circle of influence. 

The use of “lead” and “serve” as synonyms does not diminish the reality of difficulties, disagreements, or debates.  It does mean the presence of a pastoral spirit and an invisible shepherd’s staff.  


Many “leaders” are survivalists, concerned with popularity over principle.  They “lead” by consensus prodding, when often, the courageous minority is right.  Indeed, a “prophet-deficit” has proven to be unbelievably costly.  The goal of leadership is not to have everyone’s approval, affection, and applause.

Matters of style and strengths are inherently connected to any conversation of leadership.  But, what is said about the substance of leadership?  The source of one’s leadership theology and its implementation/application must be foundationally fixed.  Without such security, the leader will vacillate when the winds of adversity blow.  Such a leader is unreliable, disrespected, and marginalized, even though revered as “successful.”

Personal integrity is humbly bound to a core of convictions, founded and grounded in the Scripture.  Such veracity will garner the respect of most, even amidst divergent views.  Belief and behavior must be congruent.  Convictions must be distinguished from preferences.  Confusing the two will sound an unclear trumpet to all.  


Dictionary.  What dictionary are you using to define and defend your use of “leadership?”   The source may determine the course. 

Direction.  Are you drifting away from the Truth?  The wrong book can you lead you away from the Book.  

Discipleship.  Have you forgotten the Great Commission?  Padding your resume by more seats in padded pews is not necessarily obedience. 

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.  
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC. 
Fit for the Fight, February 2013 


 [1] Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.