My first ordained ministry was about "transformation." As a new, second career pastor, I was called to revitalize a declining congregation. My means: innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to ministry.
I embraced this rescue call and quickly unpacked the superhero cape I had from a 15-year career in business development at a multinational corporation. I was accustomed to saving the day, creating something out of nothing, and demonstrating financial success.
Needless to say, my cape was quickly shredded by the jagged edges of resentment that many of the 60 congregants felt for my new ideas. My proven formulas for development and success were dismissed by the complex relationships of a church community. After three years, I was spiritually deflated and ready to return to the safe haven of the business world.
In hindsight, my critical error was to assume that I was responsible for producing ministry and that the 60 congregants were controlling shareholders in the enterprise. Unfortunately, ...