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The Power Of One....Chris Janson

During our first pastorate in Perryville, Missouri, we had so many great experiences. One of those experiences was meeting a young man at t...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Moving from a Shepherd to a Rancher

I wanted to write this a long time ago when I wrote about "Are you a Shepherd or a Daddy." But our church was still in the Shepherding stage. I didn't want to rush this and stand the chance of being misunderstood without our church being ready to understand a whole 'nother level. When you first take a small church or plant a new one you often find yourself in a shepherding calling. You will never stop being a shepherd to your leaders. There will have to come a shift in mentality as the church starts breaking barriers from a small family church to a community church to a regional. After a certain number of new members come, the Pastor can not be the all in all. He has to raise up, hire, train qualified leaders who can have the same vision and heart beat. His mentality has to change from being a Shepherd to a Rancher. We are so thankful to have been able to have worked in a church that had 3,500 members. This prepared us to break all traditions of small thinking. I came across an article that writes about this so much better than I can articulate.
Breaking Through The Small-Church Mentality: The Pastor As The Key To Growth Examine your motives: Why do you want to break the 100 to 200 barrier? If the answer is greater prestige, beware—the benefits are short-lived at best. More people? Remember that more people means more responsibility. Ultimately, the only adequate reason to break the 100 to 200 barrier is the desire to make disciples of those who are not yet believers. If you have a passion to make more and better disciples, God will be blessed and the Kingdom will advance. Let God expand your vision beyond your local community. He desires to release your ministry to reach all kinds of people, language groups, and nations. Allow Him to develop a passion within you for people. Personal prayer effects a transformation in a pastor’s life that will fix his or her attention on the concerns that move the heart of God. Prayer must be consistent, intense, and patient. Out of prayer comes holy work and holy effectiveness that can bring dramatic results (Matthew 16:18,19). A burden for the lost is born out of prayer, but that burden must lead to intentional action—hands-on, need-oriented ministry. Study examples of mountain-moving faith, such as those found in Hebrews 11, while asking God to increase your faith. You will find that faith necessarily involves risk-taking (Ephesians 3:20,21). To break out of the small-church mentality, pastors must often work to overcome personal blockages. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges a pastor faces is making the shift from being the shepherd of a flock to becoming a rancher of a herd. Making that shift requires allowing others to do the ministry instead of doing it all. Pastors must be willing to delegate pastoral responsibilities to other gifted individuals and recognize that there will be people within their congregation whom they do not personally pastor. In many cases, this will mean giving up the need to be needed. We must become the kind of leaders who can see the vision, design an effective strategy for reaching it, and then mobilize our people to carry out that strategy. Consider the possibilities: If we knew we could not fail, what would God want to accomplish through us? Robert E. Logan, Los Angeles, California.