Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This Changes Everything: Ten-talent Pastors

Every denomination has a percentage of one-talent pastors, five-talent pastors, and ten-talent pastors. We don't like to label our pastors (after all, this isn't Olympic trampoline or figure skating), but we all know that some are extraordinarily gifted while others, well, struggle. If you've attended church for more than a few years, you know what I mean.

Question: Would you expect the fruit of a ten-talent leader to be more abundant than the fruit of a one- or a five-talent leader? If you define fruit as more and more people following Jesus, would a ten-talent pastor lead the church to greater impact?

Let me illustrate. Rewind to 1975, and take Bill Hybels - indisputably a ten-talent pastor - out of the movie theater where he and some friends started Willow Creek. Plop him into a parental system that controls the staffing, the money, the ministries, and the facilities. Would he make the impact he has made there? Where would he be 34 years later? What about the thousands who have crossed the line of faith and accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord? What are the odds he would still be pastoring?

This is vital. One-talent pastors have pretty much the same impact no matter where they serve. Ten-talent pastors, on the other hand, either flounder or flourish depending on the system in which they operate. Is it parental? Their impact will always be temporary and limited. Is it grandparental? The sky is the limit.

What do we mean? Generally, parents control while grandparents support. They both want the same thing (healthy, happy, balanced kids), but their roles are notably different. Of course good parents provide support but, in denominational circles, there is a profound difference between control and support.

We all want the same thing: more people in heaven. An even casual reading of the gospels reveals a hidden camera view into God's heart: He is not willing that any should perish. "Whatever it takes" was His mantra, and it has to be ours.

We're only a few weeks away from August 9, our fifth anniversary. We're excited about the party and the five candles (that you can't blow out). Make sure you watch for the announcement.

We want to hear your feedback. Is a talented leader most effective in a parental or grandparental system? Why? Post a comment below. And stay tuned for August 9.

"Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." Joshua 3:5

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