Are Pastors Managers?

I’ve done some recent posts regarding a book I’ve recently read called The Trellis and The Vine.

It is a book filled with challenging mind shifts for people in vocational ministry, but also helpful for church members to have a vision for healthy pastors and churches.

One of these mind-shifts is all about helping people make progress as opposed to solving people’s problems.

Great managers are great problem solvers, but… if you’re a pastor and you feel more like a manager than a spiritual leader that should raise a red flag for you.

I confess at times I feel like I’m just an administrator, pushing papers and working on things that aren’t pastoral. When the pastoral issues do arise, they are in most cases to do with some problem needing to be solved.

We pastors should watch our time and how we use it.

Are there things that could easily be delegated? Are there things keeping us from doing what we should really be doing – proactively being with people, building into their lives?

Are our ministries reactive or proactive? Managers are often putting out fires and reacting to the tyranny of the urgent. Good leaders should be thinking forward enough to prevent fires from happening. Of course fires will always come, but if it’s the same fires year after year, there may be a deeper problem.

Deacons are the biblical role with the authority to administrate and serve (Acts 6). Structures where the pastoral team can be freed up to focus on prayer and the ministry of the word – with people – will serve a growing church in the long run.

Now of course this in no way means that pastors should turn their noses up at administration and organization. There will always be the need to manage ourselves well; to be on top of things. That’s simply being responsible.

The bigger question is this: What takes up the majority of our time, pastors? Is it people or the office?