GROWING PAINS

When a church grows, the pastor has to change, too.

In that long ago, far away book The Peter Principle lies the doctrine of my insecurity. The book states that climbers on the ladder of life are promoted rung by rung until they eventually reach a level they're not equipped to handle. Thus, by doing well, a person arrives at a plateau beyond his real capabilities and successfully "out succeeds" himself. I have often been haunted by the fear that my church will one day outgrow my ability.

Only one word can prohibit this imagined debacle: adjustment. Not my adjustment to the crisis moments of ministry. Such moments belong to every pastor. Not my adjustment to wrenching business meetings or to those lonely nights that follow the hectic days when it seems that, for all my acquaintances, I haven't got a friend in the world.

No, the adjustment required is the ability to relate in different ways to the congregation as the membership expands. This difficult adjustment, I believe, is the reason many church planters cannot grow a church from inception ...

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