This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
Michael Gerber's book The E-Myth Revisited guesses at why most small businesses fail. Most people get into a business because they're good at what the business does – shoe repair, engineering, whatever. They excel at the technical requirements of the job. Start a business, and all of a sudden they're no longer doing what they're good at. Instead, they are hiring, filing returns, marketing – in short, they're running a business. It's the difference between a practitioner and an entrepreneur. Think about this with pastors. It seems that most pastors have a choice. You can stick with what got you pastoring. For most of us, it was probably a sense of calling and a desire to make a difference. I used to dream that pastoring would involve time in the Bible, praying, providing spiritual direction, etc. In other words, pastor = spiritual practitioner. Another model has come into being. Instead of being a spiritual practitioner, pastors are church entrepreneurs. In this model, pastors read business books, attend leadership conferences, develop and execute a vision, and grow the church. In this model, pastor = entrepreneur. Pastors as spiritual practitioners Prayer Bible Equipping Spiritual direction Soul Pastors as entrepreneurs Vision Leadership Church growth and health Institution I'd hate to create a straw man, and I doubt it's all one or the other. This is worth thinking about, though. What should we expect from our pastors? Can a pastor reasonably be both a spiritual practitioner and an entrepreneur? If he or she does one, who does the other?