Thursday, July 23, 2015

Are Pastors Good Administrators?

A question kept coming up this month. Are pastors good administrators?

The first role of a pastor in ANY church is to preach. Of course that involves studying the word and finding an interesting scripture or teaching and then putting it together with a structure to instruct, enlighten, encourage, exhort, and move believers to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with their Creator.

But are pastors good administrators? SHOULD they be administrators? Being called to preach the word of God does not make a man or a woman an instant expert in all fields. It seems there are those who believe a pastor should be consulted on every issue. And then there are the pastors who feel they have a say in every matter and invade the private or personal domains of individuals they have no authority at any level to be involved in.

Why is it such a hard idea to conceptualize: preachers preach; business people handle business matters. What about a church board of directors? Should pastors sit on these boards and decide all matters pertaining to a church?

I've had some experience with boards. And I've read dozens of business books about administration and structural organizations. An effective board should be comprised of experts in various fields that are necessary to a given church, organization, or nonprofit. For example, it would be great to recruit and keep someone on a board with an expertise in law; and perhaps another one with an expertise in business with an MBA; and what about someone with a strong background in journalism or public relations? If you put the same ingredients into an entree, the flavor will be bland and there will be no uniqueness to the dish. A board should be comprised of men and women with a variety of backgrounds. Church boards could learn well from this concept. When you put a bunch of preachers on a board who lack business, PR, law, or related experience, very little can get accomplished. Variety creates open communication flow and from this are birthed visionaries. It is visionaries that forge an organization forward. Doing things the same way year after year will never produce new growth. It reduces the effectiveness and usefulness of any governing body.

Sadly, there are church boards who refuse to allow females to participate. Even if your church is the most conservative anal retentive one on the planet, do you not think women have minds and are capable of logical thinking? Again I reference you back to the point of diversity. Restricting board directors based on gender is as logical as doing it based on race, handicap, or geographical birth. Humans are humans and God has gifted each one with his or her own unique talents and gifts.  I reference the example of Deborah the prophetess. Many male preachers try to excuse the fact away that God raised up a woman to lead because there were no men capable at that time in history. This is a huge fabrication that is unsubstantiated by any scripture from the Bible. God raised up Deborah because he wanted her. How many modern Deborahs have been silenced? I wonder.

I think preachers have their function and business experts have theirs. Ordination does not make one an expert in all things. In fact, this kind of reverence is what triggers problems within organizations. Can you imagine just doing whatever a president of an organization wants regardless of logic or input of board directors? That is like hiring someone without looking at a pool of resumes and making the choice based on facts and in a logical cognitive based process. The role of a board or a president isn’t power but managing the resources and effectiveness of that organization for its self-defined purpose for its existence. When a leader is reverenced for his anointing, it clouds the reality that there are experts in other fields that should be allowed to do that kind of work on the given board. It weakens an organization to put ministers on pedestals. And it weakens the original purpose for having the preacher to begin with: to PREACH.

Man worship has caused many churches to split. Have you heard the expression two cooks spoil the broth? What happens when you put two roosters in the same chicken coop? There is a cock fight. The same is true with ministers. When two alphas arise in the same territory, one tries to take top position. The result are churches splitting and members being sacrificed in the feather plucking. If preachers preached and a business board MANAGED the church affairs, these situations could almost be eliminated. It is a very sad thing when a church is destroyed due to male egos.

I think we need pastors who do a good job pastoring. And we need business experts who can manage financial resources and visionaries to forge organizations into new growth and opportunities.

That would be great!