Pastor, is Your Practice Well?
Words like "endangered species" and "extinction" are well-known. 
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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."  Simply stated, the pastor is pressured to produce numbers to appease those who supply and sign his paycheck.
you stopped to truly evaluate your pastoral culture? In order to teach
someone to swim, he has to first be saved from drowning.
do you reply to an honest assessment of your pastoral climate? Seeking
to change the dynamic will likely be painful, but successful surgery
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
  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.
 Miller, Steve. 2003. C.H. Surgeon on Spiritual Leadership, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press), 58.