I read an article this morning at Out of Ur, the online blog of Christianity Today International.
A friend told me that Eugene Peterson’s Under the Unpredictable Plant should be required reading for every pastor who has served for at least five years. That was how long it had been since my ordination. I picked up a copy.
Peterson claims that there are two common types of unhealthy clergy. The first is the messiah. Messiahs seek out wounded, broken people, to make them healthy again. It is a noble task, except for its motivation: messiahs need to feel needed. They consider healed people to be numbers, accumulated to suggest pastoral effectiveness.
Then there are managers, who seek not the unhealthy but the healthy: talented, faithful, and prepared people. Managers plug them in, finding the right places for them to serve in an ever-expanding congregational machine. The bigger the church gets, the better managers feel effective and useful. Once again, people become numbers.
I have both messianic and managerial tendencies. It is too easy for congregants to become statistics, which I can use to inflate my sense of clergy effectiveness.
That realization prompted me to search for a new pastoral identity….. (The full article by Magrey deVega is available at http://www.outofur.com/archives/2010/04/the_pastor_as_d.html)
Are there other common types of unhealthy clergy?
If leaders that are guiding as messiah’s or managers are both unhealthy, then what is a healthy role for leaders?
What attitudes, convictions, and examples can people look for in leaders that show signs of a good heart and strong healthy leadership?