I know of a current congregation that is losing its current pastor after growing under his leadership and becoming quite attached to his teaching style, vision, and leadership. In a recent question answer forum he instructed the congregation the procedures that would lie ahead as they seek a new pastor when he leaves.
One person asked, “Since there are other teachers in the congregation, could they fill the pulpits some Sundays.”
“I never thought of that,” was his reply. “That would be awesome. Can some one do it next week?”
During his term as Senior Pastor, he apparently did not equip the saints for the “work of the service” as for developing teachers since that was his strong suit. His in-house teachers never got to preach when he was there, why would it be awesome to let them do it now? I am sure the next pastor will want his pulpit back.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if the saints were equipped and “doing the work of the service” and the new pastor would wonder what his role is when he arrived! Churches offer “Discipleship” courses, but I hardly know of any that truly equip their saints to become evangelists, teachers, shepherds, prophets, or apostles for the life of the local congregation. Leadership should work themselves out of a job, not create vacuums so they are needed and “outsiders” must come in to fulfill them.
If the next pastor isn’t a “teaching” pastor, but a true “shepherd” or an “evangelist”, will the congregation be disappointed? Often local congregational visions are those of the pastor. Emphasis and focus of ministry change with the change of a pastor.
Wouldn’t it be neat if a congregation had their own evangelist, pastor/shepherd, teacher, prophet and pastor from among their own who were birthed, nurtured, and developed by their elders. We work hard as parents to “equip” our children with what they need to face life as adults. Why should the leadership of the church not “equip” their “children of God” to face the future?
We need new mindsets of what we are doing as leaders. "Reproduction" is not just birthing! Are we equipping others to replace us, and then are willing to step back or be sent out when they mature? We need to think about that!