Team Contacts
318.448.3402
1.800.622.6549 (LA only)

Bill Robertson, Director Pastoral Leadership Team
Bill.Robertson@LBC.org
ext. 291

JoLynn Chesser, Administrative Assistant
Jolynn.Chesser@LBC.org
ext. 292

Stacy Morgan, Church Administration Strategist
Stacy.Morgan@LBC.org
ext. 293

Dianne York, Administrative Assistant
Dianne.York@LBC.org
ext. 231

Eddie DeHondt, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - North
Eddie.DeHondt@LBC.org
318.464.1998

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

Benjamin Harlan, Music Strategist
Benjamin.Harlan@LBC.org
ext 234


 

Pastoral Team


Pastor, is Your Practice Well? (part 2)   

Biblical pastors are an “endangered species.”[1] Along with blue whales, giant pandas, and sea turtles, they are on the verge of extinction.  There are many reasons for such endangerment among the animal population.  Among them are loss of habitat, wildlife trade and competition with domestic and non-domestic animals. 

The wildlife trade has also taken its toll among the animals.  They are captured and often used for selfish gain.  And, biblical pastors are no different.  Sadly, they are habitually "captured" and placed in an unhealthy environment.  

There are some church members who clearly have the spiritual gift of "affliction."  They find polluted joy in making things difficult for the pastor, striving to make him choose between family and ministry.  

 

Pastoral Pain 

Statistics support this frightening and destructive occurrence.  According to Ken Sande of Peacemaker Ministries, 23% of all current pastors have been fired or forced to resign in the past; 45% of the pastors who were fired in one denomination left the ministry altogether; 34% of all pastors presently serve congregations that forced their previous pastor to resign; the average pastoral career lasts only 14 years (less than half of previous norms); and 1,500 pastors leave their assignments every month.[ 

   

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, elevates the impact of such problems.  In the insightful book, Pastors at Greater Risk, he is quoted as saying, "The pastor has an incredibly significant and difficult job.  The implications and ramifications of his responsibilities at church are more extensive than most parishioners realize.  A strong church is the first line of defense for healthy families.  For if the pastor's family suffers, the entire church suffers.  And if the church fails to be what it should be, society goes a little further adrift."[3]  

gnorantly, many continue to wonder why churches have difficulties, why pastors come and go like revolving doors, and why the pastor's family is often at the crossroad of crisis.  Congregations contribute to the decline of society and the church when they neglect and/or reject the pastor and his family.  So many pastors’ families despise the church.  They love Jesus, but they know the inner workings of deceit and have been scarred by the unspiritual agenda of the power hungry.  

Indeed, the loss of habitat has had horrific results upon the pastor, his family and the church.  Perhaps the church has created an environment that has given her exactly what she deserves- success in the eyes of the world, but failure in the eyes of God. 

APPLICATION 

  

Statistics.  Are you on the way to increasing the negative statistics?  Stopping for an honest evaluation now, can prevent years of irreparable damage.   

  

Suffering.  Is your family suffering?  Establishing a backbone for your family is a necessity, not an option.  If you do not protect them, no one will.  The only alternative is a wishbone or a jawbone; regardless, both of them are useless. 

  

Success.  Do you dream of the “big church”?  The grass may be greener, but the water bill is likely higher. 

  

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D. 

Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC. 

CEandLC@gmail.com  

Fit for the Fight, June 2011 

  



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

  

[2] Sande, Ken. n.d. Strike the Shepherd-Losing Pastors in the Church. Accessed from www.peacemaker.net on January 11, 2006. 

  

[3] London, H.B. Jr. and Wiseman, Neal B. 2003. Pastors at Greater Risk, (Ventura, CA: Regal Books), 8-11. 

Pastor, is Your Practice Well?  (part 2)


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.  

People-pleasers

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.  

Application

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.   
CEandLC@gmail.com 
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.