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Flee this anti-growth, anti-Gospel book
January 23, 2012
"Winning on Purpose" is a "leadership?" style that is a sure fire anti-growth model. It fails in at least the following areas:
1) Authority -- This puts the pastor into a position of leading by virtue of position. This is the least effective and most vulnerable authority. The strongest is granted authority, which is what every pastor should strive for and is most effective in every organization, but particularly in a volunteer organization.
2) Priesthood of All Believers -- This model flies in the face of the Priesthood of the congregation by assuming that only the pastor has the final say on everything and negates the right and duty of parishioners to hold the pastor accountable to his office and the Confessions.
3) Kingdoms of the Left and Right -- The pastor is supposed to lead in the Kingdom of the Right and is specifically charged with being a steward of the mystery and held accountable for his shepherding of the flock. By giving the pastor executive control over the Kingdom of the Left, his service on the Right will be judged and confused with his service on the Right. Example--Controversy over the color of the walls being painted causes diminished respect and ability to seek confession and absolution from the pastor because you are mad at him!
4) Volunteer Organizations -- Everybody in your church can leave but the pastor. Everything in the secular side of the church is/should be being done by volunteers. When the pastor assumes authority over everything, people will tend to stand back and wait for him to act or instruct. Soon, they are either uninvolved or leave and you are left without any followers.
5) Leadership Principles -- A pastor has unique duties that only he has a call and preparation to perform. All successful leaders know that they should do what only they can do and delegate the rest. By taking on duties that can (and are better) performed by others he cultivates a very small circle of effect. It works in a very small organization, but dilutes his effect in pastoral duties to where he will either be worn out or the church never grows.
6) Motivation -- In case this guy didn't notice, NOBODY manages this way in our culture anymore. If people don't feel that they have a say in running the church and that their belonging matters, they either become inactive or leave. We live in a world where most people see themselves as leaders. Telling people what to do, rather than creating a common vision that all have had an opportunity to be a part of and then using that to create mutually agreed upon plans that coordinate the Left and the Right Hand invigorates and motivates participation.
7) Ownership -- As in motivation, ownership is critical to keeping people. What is often missing in churches is a deliberate process to integrate them into the church by ascertaining what motivated them to join and then using that as a basis for their participation. So, if music is it, then choir, band, worship committee, etc is where they first need to be connected, if academics, then connect to Bible studies, if fellowship then food, gatherings, greeting, follow-ups, etc.
8) Modeling Serving -- No one learns to catch a ball by watching others do it. They need instruction that is hands-on. Likewise, if we want to create disciples then we need to put them out in the playing field with training, mentoring, guidance, feedback and encouragement. Serving is not just doing what you're told but having the vision and training to go out and do it!
Many churches struggle with lines of authority and how to make them clear and functional. Winning on Purpose provides excellent ideas for both boards and pastoral staff that they can live by as they collaborate in fulfilling the congregation's mission and vision.