Romancing the Congregation

Instead of mechanical procedures, my approach to leadership better resembles a courtly romance.
—Joel C. Hunter

In seminary I thought of the local church as a complex engine needing a mechanic. And that mechanic was me. My best move so far in ministry has been to toss that image away.

The local church is not a machine. It is more like a person with a complex personality. Christ pictured this person as his bride. Certainly she has different aspects to her personality, but when I get bogged down trying to analyze them, I lose passion for our life together.

Instead of mechanical procedures, my approach to leadership better resembles a courtly romance. I nourish the same attitude toward my congregation as a suitor would toward his sweetheart. The results have been outstanding in church growth and development. Following are a few personal examples of this approach.

From Court to Courting


In my first board meetings, I assumed the role of defense attorney arguing for various progressive issues. I ...

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