“...being firm, or even being visionary, can cross over into being a bully”

"A man may be a good preacher, and may be good in a variety of pastoral situations, but the key issue here is 'How does he handle disagreement with his vision or viewpoint, or how does he handle people when they aren’t where he would like them to be?'" - C.Leaders

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T Howard's picture

It seems being visionary or having "strong vision" is a frequent requirement for being hired as a pastor. The problem, as I see it, is that this requirement is not a biblical one. Paul does not require elders to be visionary ... and for a reason. Not surprisingly, when men with this trait are hired as senior pastors, they expect everyone to get behind them and support their vision. The issue I have is that often these men coerce and manipulate others in the church to enact their vision. It's not a shared vision but the vision of one man imposed on others. Those who disagree or oppose the pastor's vision are seen as divisive and opposing God's will for the church.

Brothers, this isn't being visionary; this is being self-willed.

Please learn from the mistakes of other churches and don't hire these men. Instead, hire men who are skilled in preaching, who are known for their love of God's Word and God's people, who are approachable and humble, and who desire to be faithful shepherds not visionary leaders.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Vision = lead your church to do what a church is supposed to do. I know it's radical, but there it is! 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

T Howard's picture

TylerR wrote:

Vision = lead your church to do what a church is supposed to do. I know it's radical, but there it is! 

Amen! That's it exactly, Tyler.

Mark_Smith's picture

Hey, me and 2/3 of the church care more about the pastor visiting people at home and the hospital. I want him at my barbecue. I want him to do nice skits with the kids. Sermons? I'll take a 15 minute sermonette. I prefer the worship (by that I mean singing) over what some boring book says. Hey, who reads anyway? I sure don't. Only geeks and nerds and losers read.

And, I want a redneck pastor (yes the church I last attended was proud of this) who has a gun range in his basement. Men's meetings were at the gun range... a little 5 minute pick me up talk was given to hearty amens.

T Howard's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Hey, me and 2/3 of the church care more about the pastor visiting people at home and the hospital. I want him at my barbecue. I want him to do nice skits with the kids. Sermons? I'll take a 15 minute sermonette. I prefer the worship (by that I mean singing) over what some boring book says. Hey, who reads anyway? I sure don't. Only geeks and nerds and losers read.

And, I want a redneck pastor (yes the church I last attended was proud of this) who has a gun range in his basement. Men's meetings were at the gun range... a little 5 minute pick me up talk was given to hearty amens.

That's not a healthy church and should close its doors. Doesn't need a pastor; it needs an undertaker.

josh p's picture

Couldn’t agree more about “vision casting.” I have ruled churches out for having a statement about it on their webpage. Simple adopting of the world’s methods in church.

Bert Perry's picture

A lot of people seem to have the notion that the job of the pastor (church leadership in general) is to tell the church what to do.  Isn't it to preach the Word,make disciples, and the like?  And that the direction of the church will have a lot to do with what's, you know, in the Word of God?

I guess--see Mark's comment and others--I'm way optimistic about this.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Kevin Miller's picture

My church really goes all out. We have a "purpose" and a "vision" and a "mission."

The purpose of those who call Buffalo Evangelical Free Church their spiritual home, is to Glorify God:
Build Relationships.
Our Vision (How we fulfill our purpose) is Building Effective Followers of Christ as we pursue redemptive
relationships.
Our Mission (How we fulfill our vision) is to equip people to:
• Live a passionate spiritual life
• Engage in a gift-based ministry
• Connect with a biblically functioning community
• Pursue Spirit-led outreach

TylerR's picture

Editor

This is all well and good. But, they real question is whether your pastor CASTS that vision well ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

josh p's picture

Yeah what I’m talking about is “Pastor Charlatan’s has been given vision for...and the congregation is following it.”