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Is Your Pastor a Chaplain or a CEO?

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Over at Christianity Today Mark Galli takes a look the various "models" of pastors in America today and encourgages us to recover the pastor who has "care over hurting souls"--the chaplain type.

A chaplain is a minister in the service of another. A chaplain at a hospital or in the military is clearly not the highest ranking member of the institution, clearly not the person in charge of running things. The chaplain's job is defined by service—service to the institution's needs and goals, service to the individuals who come for spiritual help. The chaplain prays for people in distress, administers sacraments to those in need, leads worship for those desperate for God. In short, the chaplain is at the beck and call of those who are hurting for God.... There's no mistaking a chaplain for an entrepreneurial leader, a catalyst for growth. No, the chaplain is unmistakably a servant.

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  • Guest - D. Darval

    My brother-in-law was on staff at a mega-church served by a CEO-type minister. The "CEO" only preached on Sundays; the rest of the week he was absent, touring the country giving seminars. No "marrying and burying" for that guy! The emphasis was clearly on growth, not ministry. My brother-in-law finally burned out and left the ministry, his soul broken by the church.

    I really appreciate your emphasis on word and sacrament...and now, service. Not only the parishioners end up broken under a false model of ministry - the ministers lose their focus, too!

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  • Guest - Janelle Trebuna

    So grateful for the gentle, loving, and biblical leading of a shepherd who truly cares for the sheep God has placed in his church. Our pastor preaches exegetically, displays humility, stresses the importance of thinking and acting biblically in all things, models honoring God above pleasing men, and truly cares about the hearts of his people.

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  • Guest - Paul

    Leadership is essentially self improvement for the "elite" among us Christians. John Maxwell has written thousands of pages on the subject whereas the Army Field Manual, a 3" x 5" book, contains around 20. Evangelicalism has created a cottage industry out of a topic that real leaders basically outline and then move on.

    This stuff flies because it's easier to go to a convention and load up on a bunch of rah-rah materials than to learn Hebrew, Greek and systematic theology. Churches buy into this nonsense because few are taught what the Bible says about the office of the Pastor.

    While it is true that Jesus came to serve, let us always be mindful that there is a heck of a lot more personal glory in being seen as a great leader of a large club with lots of members than visiting the sick. Let the associate pastor do that!

    An elder of a jr. megachurch (there's glory for elders of large churches as well) made clear the long and the short of the leadership driven model when a parishioner raised an issue about a minister's church service. The elder replied that when he looked at the numbers he didn't see a problem.

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