Spurgeon on Over-professionalism and Over-delegation

This is from a book I’ve read called Spurgeon on LeadershipThought these paragraphs were helpful… as a church gets larger, pastors often face the dilemma of trying to guard their time from constant demands on that time while remaining involved in people’s lives. Shepherds can’t be real shepherds from a distance. Shepherds know sheep. Pastors must also lead by example, which means we must be in the community, practicing the real Christianity that we are trying to teach to others. We must really know people–our neighbors, the baristas at the local Starbucks, etc.

At any rate, here’s the paragraph from Spurgeon on Leadership:

An effective leader knows his gifts and abilities and uses them.  Of necessity, you incarnate what you want to teach others.  If you are a pastor and expect laypersons to become adept in ministry of pastoral care, you, as a leader, must set the example.  If you want your members to follow your leadership in ministry, they need to know that you are involved in personal evangelism, that you regularly make ministry visits, and that you’re not above visiting the hospital.  Some clergy today exhibit a stifling attitude of professionalism, relegating all ministry to other staff or laypeople.

Indeed, some Christian pastors have abdicated their personal ministry responsibilities altogether.  One never attains the luxury of ministerial absenteeism in Christian leadership.  It might be easy to “hang out” in the office, sipping that leisurely cup of coffee and enjoying the comforts that surround you.  But, as John le Carre wrote, “A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.”  One must be “out there,” demonstrating effectiveness in shepherding and nurturing the flock.  The pastor has been anointed by God to lead the sheep, but such anointing is not automatic.  Trust and “followership” must be earned.  Spurgeon instructed his students, “Brethren, let us heartily love all whom Jesus loves.  Cherish the tried and suffering.  Visit the fatherless and the widow.  Care for the faint and the feeble.  Bear with the melancholy and despondent.  Be mindful of all parts of the household, and thus shall you be a good steward.” (pg. 29)

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  1. James Horton   •  


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