Last year in school, I had a class on “Shepherding the Small Church”. Our main text was a book by the same title written by Glenn Daman. It was one of my favorite classes by far, because of the practical information and guidelines of how to learn who your congregation is and how to best “shepherd” the flock according to their needs and make-up.
Over the summer I ran into a classmate with whom I had taken this class with, and our discussion turned to the book mentioned above. We were sharing concepts that we had learned and agreed at how useful and practical the book was. He then proceeded to tell me about the follow -up book that Glenn Daman had written called “Leading the Small Church”. I wrote down the title and have looked for it a couple of times, but had not been successful in finding it. Until this weekend. I was in a large discount Christian bookstore in Jacksonville, and while searching among books in the pastoral section, the title caught my interest, and then it dawned on me why I recognized the title. I had found it.
I began reading it yesterday afternoon, but because of the hectic morning I had already had a church, it was not long before I was asleep. So, I picked it up this morning, and found I could not read it without highlighting the info and quotes that jumped out at me.
Chapter one, titled, “Returning to an Old Paradigm”, deals with the fact that churches today have been and are being run like a corporation. He deals with the subject of leadership, in the context of the business world and how the church has gotten away from the biblical parameters and focused on what the gurus claim is the way to build you’re church larger.
He calls all pastors to remeber their calling and to remind them that it is not a profession. He quotes Eugene Peterson in making his appeal “The pastors of America have metamophosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns – how to keep customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money.” Daman suggests to his readers that they remeber their primary tasks as pastors are ” … preaching, mentoring, and providing spiritual care.”
One struggle that I have as an emerging young pastor-want-to-be, is the temptation to be “known”. One way to be known is to have a blog like this, and to find you a church that can advance your career, so that you can lead the mega church, and speak at conferences, and become a guru. God has been bringing to light many areas of pride and arrogance in my life, and I am thankful for this book because it is explaining the danger and fallacy of leading the church in our expectation instead of God’s plan. I pray that I will continue to be humbled and reminded that “I am just another beggar telling other beggars where I found bread.”
If you’re struggling in the area of Biblical leadership I reccomend this book as well as it’s companion.