Robert Wuthnow criticizes low response rates in polling and Pew responds
Pastors generally happy with families, finances, preaching. Less with health, administration, world.

The long term danger of hiring staff with the "gift of leadership"

I wonder about the huge trend of hiring lay people who are successful in business to be church staff at megachurches. Partly I think this is out of a reading of Romans 12:8c that these people have the gift of leadership. However, I argue that the gift is really one of administration or management (rightly translated). It is really the apostles (Paul who is writing here in Romans) that is the leader in the early church. He is able to see that all of the gifts of Romans 12:6-8 are important. That is what the leader does. And the apostles are unique because of their knowledge of Scripture and their missionary energy and vision. So, we do not need people with the gifts of leadership (Romans 12:8c) anymore than we need any of the other five gifts listed there. However, we do need apostolic type of people who did what Peter and Paul did in the book of Acts--energetic to see the good news be communicated to outsiders. We also need management type of people under the category of elders to keep things organized. I think of the divide here from John Kotter between leaders and managers. (He says you need both roles and people can do both things but still this is an interesting heuristic distinction). I worry long term that hiring lots of lay people to execute the will of the senior pastor will lead to a shallow bench when that senior pastor moves on. Instead, there should be a whole lot of theologically educated people ready in the wings. It is not enough to just have management skills (Rom 12:8c) for the long-term health of the church.  I agree it is smart to hire within--meaning hire people you know! However, I worry that we are going to have lots of megachurches that implode because the one other teaching pastor cannot carry the load when the founding senior pastor moves on. Instead, 1/2 of the staff should have their MDiv or be working on it so that when a replacement is needed, there are lots of potential people who may have the leadership and theological and teaching chops to carry on. 

 

 

Downsides of megachurches hiring staff internally from volunteers: absence of seminary-trained people when successor is needed; yes people.

 
 
10:32 AM - 12 Nov 2015 · Details
 
 
 
 
 

But I urge seminary-trained people to volunteer at churches or under people they admire and see if there is an opening eventually.

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Hiring able volunteers with gift of "leadership" (Rom 12:8c) functionally means hiring executors who will carry out will of those in charge.

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In New Testament, the most influential did not so much have gift of leadership/management (Rom 12:8c) but were apostles utilizing judgment.

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"Management/Admin" is #5 of 6 gifts in Rom 12:6-8. Apostolic / leadership perspective is all six contribute to goal of witness to Jesus.

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Two levels in New Testament: itinerants (apostles) and elders (overseer / deacons). -- Gordon Fee, Listening to the Spirit in the Text, 141.

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John Kotter “Management brings a degree of order and consistency ... Leadership, by contrast, is about change.” https://hbr.org/2001/12/what-leaders-really-do …

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