Dr. Bosela Eale had a powerful critique of many pastors who had gone through seminary and went into the pastorate: “They had a big head but with an empty heart!”.
Dr. Eale, the Catalyst for Leadership Development with the Lausanne Movement, shared today on Pastoral Leadership at the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers during our Spiritual Engagement Track. He walked through the importance of values in pastoral leadership noting that when we don’t have the right values, we can get off course.
Three core values were seen as critical to the life of a pastor:
- The value of influence—pastors influence others and thus it is important not to abuse our authority!
- The value of servant leadership—pastors are not to rule over others but rather serve the community!
- The value of authenticity—only when pastors are honest and real will they be able to related to others and impact their lives!
Stephen Van Horn shared about the pressure pastors face to conform to others or to please their people. He urged authenticity to just be yourself and to simply disciple the flock that God has given you. He stated, “God will take care of the growth of the church.”
An Example from Cambodia
Meng Aun Hour, national director of Asian Access/Cambodia shared a powerful story. In one region of Cambodia, local churches were stealing sheep and even other pastors from another denomination. It just so happened that God put both presidents of these two denominations in the same Asian Access cohort. They both became friends and traveled to this region with Meng and some of the other Asian Access alumni to help plant churches among unreached peoples. When they got to the region, the two denomination presidents learned about the sheep stealing between their two groups.
Holding a joint conference, both leaders stood before all of the two denominational pastors and confessed to the other group. They exhorted the pastors under them that this practice needed to stop immediately. And then they posted their mobile phone numbers on the white board and said:
"If any of you sees someone from my denomination stealing your sheep or your pastors, I want you to call me!"
By this, they were showing the value of influence and servant leadership as well as the value of unity.
During reflection two pastors attending the session shared some powerful statements to capture the essence of the hour:
- We need to have a good relationship with the Good Shepherd!
- We’re like a photocopy to our church and community. What type of copy are we? Are we a reflection of Christ?
Bosela struck the right chord: We don’t want to have a big head and an empty heart. The Church belongs to God, not to the pastor!
Do you have a big head with an empty heart? Sometime I do and I need to run to Jesus to set me straight. Thank God I have some good friends who speak into my life and help remind me the way of the Good Shepherd!
Share with me your reflections!