Thursday, August 03, 2006

Reflections of a Solo Pastor

We have been reading and discussing Mark Dever and Paul Alexander’s Deliberate Church (Crossway, 2005) this summer in our weekly staff meetings. After 14 years of senior pastor ministry in two churches that use the solo pastor model, I was struck by this quote:

Under the single pastor/multiple deacon model, the pastor often takes the brunt of criticism alone. Tough decisions can be misperceived, motives can be misconstrued, and before too long the pastor becomes the target of all the critical remarks because he is the one perceived to be making all the decisions and casting all the final votes—and under this model, he often is (p. 133).

Anyone who has ever served as a solo Pastor knows how true that statement rings. On one hand we may get credit for things we might have had little hand in creating. On the other hand we may get the blame for things we had little hand in creating. Or, more often, we get solo "credit" for things the church decides, whether perceived to be good or bad (and the perspective often varies among the membership!). This happens regardless of how collaborative the process was that led to the decision or how many adjustments were made to the plan or decision to fit the needs of the body. In some folk’s mind, it seems always to be "the pastor’s idea."

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