Last week, following the election, numerous pundits began churning out advice for the president-elect. One list of suggestions by Jon Kraushar entitled, “The President as CEO,” caught my attention. Although I’m not comfortable with a parallel comparison of the pastor as CEO, Kraushar makes some insightful observations which are worth our consideration.
Local church pastors need to reflect on how well they are functioning as:
Chief Essentials Officer. Pastor, you are the spiritual director and must determine what is of utmost importance for the household of faith. Don’t re-invent the wheel on this one. Scripture makes our priorities very clear: The Great Commandment, the Great Commission, worship, Holy marriages, Biblically centered families, etc. Keep the essentials front and center.
Chief Educational Officer. People need to know the essentials and the pastor is a teacher. You must educate those under your spiritual care regarding the foundations of our faith. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming others are filling this role. Don’t substitute evangelism for education.
Chief Explanatory Officer. The people who learn to believe the essentials must know why they are imperative. One of the reasons why so many of our young people are walking away from faith and the church is because they don’t know why they believe! Even older adults, when faced with crises, often become bewildered because they mistakenly believe God would not allow them to undergo hardship and suffering.
Chief Expectations Officer. Pastors need to work with church leaders in setting clear objectives, standards and guidelines. To use Paul’s analogy, do people know they’re expected to move from milk to meat? Are you communicating the expectation that people establish a rhythm of life that includes worship, work and family?
Chief Elimination Officer. It is important to determine what the local church should stop doing. This takes us back to determining what is essential. As pastor you must lead in such a way as to eradicate the practices and programs that are unproductive and counterproductive.
Chief Evaluation Officer. The pastor must examine and reexamine the quality and value of what is happening with the essentials. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a numbers game. You must wrestle with how to determine whether or not people under your spiritual care are growing and maturing – becoming more and more like Jesus. If a course correction is needed, don’t put it off.
Chief Example Officer. The pastor is not perfect and should not be expected to reach that ideal in this life. However, the pastor must be aware that he serves as a model for others to follow. What you say is important. What you do SCREAMS! This is a particularly heavy burden but . . .
If you read Kraushar’s article you’ll note I didn’t use all his points. Some of them don’t apply. And I want to make certain you understand the disclaimer: Pastors are not CEO’s is the sense of corporate definitions. Pastors are spiritual directors called to prayer, studying the Word of God, pressing truth into this messed up world. We don’t work for profit margins or stock incentives – our reward may never be seen in this life. We are not called to make stockholders happy by producing dividends but to be faithful in obedience and humility.