Darkside of Pastoring Faith, Work & Economics

I’m concerned that so many pastors have joined the leadership cult.

I have an (unprovable) sense there’s a lack of deep theological and exegetical skills in order to teach the scripture. (When I’m around pastors they don’t talk about what the Spirit taught them in the text. They talk about business — I mean — I’m game but I’d like to talk about NT Wright once in a while.)

I meet so many sincere pastors that are all into “strategic management”; “organizational leadership”; “executive thinking” and have never studied greek, hebrew, philosophy or Augustine, Calvin, Wesley, or the neo-orthodoxy theologians or in our own progressive pentecostal tradition (Yamamori & Miller 2006) (Yong) (Macchia) (Self) or the [Archer/Archer(s)] work. Which is awesome!

I mean sure the management stuff is important — it’s vital — I study, teach and test/research that literature. But if you can’t exegete, study your history and do theology from the text then what are you managing? It’s so frustrating.

I’m just thinking here and reviewing Sunday’s teaching on Luke 1:19 and I’m struck with awe of the phrase “καὶ εὐαγγελίσασθαι σοι ταῦτα”. I could probably teach/preach/altar call for 40 minutes on εὐαγγελίσασθαι. “Good News” meant/means so many things to so many people in 1st century Palestine and meant/means so many things in 21st post-modern America.

I wouldn’t know that unless I was taught it in my 20’s — the careful & skillful craft of scholarship. With that great detailed learning comes the humility to listen to the doctors of the church for guidance. Those “doctors of the church” are the professors at our universities and seminaries that study for a living. Listen to them.

My humble thought is simply this: Pastor, before you do that MA in Leadership do that MA in Theology. Know your stuff. You’re accountable to King Jesus for your teaching before you’re accountable for your management.