If you are a pastor (especially if you are in the holiness/Methodism tribe) you would totally benefit from Will Willamon’s blog. It’s stock full of wisdom and straight from Alabama!
I wanted to link to his most recent post, on the shifts he is seeing in pastoral ministry. I’ll summarize here, but if you would like, go ahead and check it out on his blog.
Here’s what he remarks:
Today, the most effective, faithful pastors are making these moves:
Move from caregivers to passionate, transformative leaders
Any church that cares more about itself and its inner life than it cares for the world is a church in decline. .
Move from contented church of monopoly, to church in competitive, missional environment
It’s a time when the church has the opportunity to recover the oddness and the joy of the peculiarity of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ rather than ministry as service to the infatuations of the world.
Move from nonchalance about results to attentiveness to results
God intends for us to bear fruit and promises to give us what we need to bear fruit.
Move from preservation and sustaining to adaptation and supple, flexibility
We have put far too much stress on experience, wisdom, and continuity when we need more stress upon talent, adaptation, flexibility, and innovation.
Move from the pastor as head of an organization to the pastor as spiritual leader and congregational catalyst
Pastors are preachers, those who tell the story which is the gospel, laying that upon the congregation on a regular basis and then pastors get out of the way, leaving Jesus to deal with his people. Pastors are there not to do ministry, no really even to lead ministry, but rather to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.”
*that last one is stunningly beautiful