Wednesday, April 23

Relevantitis

What's a pastor to do? What's a pastor to be? According to Michael Horton in an incisive Touchstone article, instead of focusing on the "ordinary means of grace" and the ministries of "Word, prayer, and sacrament," these days pastors are more like "directors of sales and marketing." They are increasingly asked to be "managers, therapists, entertainers, and entrepreneurial businesspeople." If what we're looking for is someone who is "relevant," a "team builder" with a "warm and personal style," a "contagious personality," and is an "effective communicator," maybe what we're really after is not a pastor at all (and, maybe what we're really after is not a church at all).

6 comments:

Diane V. said...

I am so grateful that my pastor-husband has not caved in to the pressures to be "directors of sales and marketing" and all those other things you mentioned that pastors are increasingly asked to be. We know this aspect of ministry all too well and we figure that those who will not find the kind of pastor so described at our church will eventually exit through the back door and try to find him at the church down the street. Amazingly, for all those who exit the back door, the Lord leads others through the front door assuring our hearts in the promise that, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain to build it." Psalm 127:1 Just last weekend we celebrated our 12th anniversary, Dr. Grant. I still remember the powerful sermon that you gave at one of our ealier anniversaries. Thank you for not entertaining us then or telling us how we can better market our church. You reminded us that it was not about us and that the Church was His - that God said of us, "You are mine." You gave us the the truth of God's Word and I believe those seeds of truth continue to grow for the glory of God. God bless pastors like my husband and pastors like you!

George Grant said...

Diane: I too am grateful for your pastor/husband and for his stalwart stand for truth. And of course, I know that behind every great man...

Kay said...

Many years ago we were in a church very much like that. It left us gnawingly empty and profoundly disillusioned. No thanks! Just reading those descriptions makes me shudder!

jackmooring said...

Amen!

Josh said...

Isn't the best way to achieve "church growth" authenticity?

Lawrence Underwood said...

Funny, with all the 'church growth strategies, the seeker sensitive marketing, relevancy driven exegesis' that is taking place very few seem to see that it is neither growing a church, reaching the elect, or proclaiming the Word.

Another very good book on the topic is 'Brothers, We are Not Professionals' by Piper