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Growing Pains


Church growth always demands social growth. Especially for the pastor.
—Calvin Miller

In that long ago, faraway 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, ...

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July/August
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