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In Episode 96 we mentioned a 2009 Barna report that stated the average church member expects their lead pastor to be great in sixteen competencies! And we’ve observed that some lead pastors expect the same out of themselves. If you ever want to grow sustainably, and keep your sanity at the same time, letting go of some of these 16 roles is necessary.

Question is, where does a lead pastor start? In today’s pod, John and Jim explore the reconstruction of the lead pastor role and encourage leaders to shift from a performative model of ministry to a formative model.

Some of the roles lead pastors are often expected to fill:

  • Preaching/Teaching
  • Shepherding/Pastoral care
  • Counseling
  • Leading an organization
  • Leading a staff
  • Leading a small group
  • Visionary
  • Strategist
  • Culture shaper
  • Financial Wizard
  • Administration
  • HR
  • Community Leader

If you ever want to grow sustainably, and keep your sanity at the same time, letting go of some of these 16 roles is necessary.

Where does a lead pastor start? 

  • Ephesians 4:11-12 –The overarching principle here is equipping God’s people)
  • David Lose: We need to shift from a “performative” model of ministry — in which the mark of competence is that the professional does the central tasks of the faith well — to a “formative” model of ministry.

Here are a few roles from our initial list a lead pastor can’t fully delegate:

  • Prayer
  • Visioning
  • Shaping the Culture
  • Preaching/Teaching
  • Leadership Development

Why should we think about rethinking the lead pastor role? Because pastors are dropping like flies.

Next steps for overwhelmed leaders?

  1. Take a long, hard look at that list of 16 competencies. What of that list do you need to put on pause for a bit? Which ones can you delegate? Which ones are mission-critical?
  2. Start equipping people
John Opalewski

Author John Opalewski

John Opalewski is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. He served as a pastor for fifteen years. He has worked in the business world for nearly two decades, serving in multiple leadership roles. John's experience as a leader in both the church and business arenas has made him a sought-after international speaker, coach and mentor.

More posts by John Opalewski

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