A pastor’s goal should never be to manage the crowd better, but to pastor the people better.
When a church gets big, that can only be done by delegating the pastoral work to a greater number of undershepherds, like Jethro taught Moses. But, in a smaller group, adopting a multi-layer management style means the people get less pastoring, not more.
The Small Church Pastor Is A Level 50 Or 100 Leader
Most people who attend small churches do so, at least in part, because they want to be pastored by their pastor.
Many, perhaps most pastors are called and gifted to be hands-on pastors, not managers, organizers and fundraisers. Myself included. If that’s who you are, be who you are! Don’t let anyone tell you that being a caring, loving, hands-on pastor is the wrong way to do ministry.
In a big church, Jethro’s 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 level leadership model can, and should be fully implemented. When it is, there are at least four levels between the members and the pastor, meaning only the most vital, big issues get to the pastor. And rightfully so in a church of 2,000 or more.
But in a church of 50 or fewer, even if the pastor has done a superb job of training, discipling and delegating Level 10 leaders, the pastor is still dealing with all the Level 50 problems.
That means the small church pastor deals with a lot more personal and family issues than a big church pastor will ever see. And those are the issues that require a lot of time, patience and emotional fortitude. You know, the hands-on stuff.
So, if you’re pastoring a church of less than 100, by all means, train and delegate church members to minister and help each other. But equipping disciples should never be done at the cost of the pastor no longer being accessible to congregation members.
In a smaller church, we can’t equip others to do hands-on ministry unless we’re hands-on ourselves.
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