Sunday, May 11, 2014



Ever since the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage, carrying its captain and many of the passengers with it, the notion that the captain goes down with his ship has been ingrained in popular culture.
But now, for the second time in just over two years, a sea captain — first in Italy and now in South Korea — has been among the first to flee a sinking vessel, placing his own life ahead of those of his terrified passengers.
A much-publicized photo from the latest accident shows the Korean captain being helped off his own ship, the Sewol, stepping off the deck to safety even as scores of his ferry passengers remained below where survivors believe they became trapped by rushing water and debris.
The behavior has earned the captain, Lee Jun-seok, 69, the nickname the “evil of the Sewol” among bloggers in South Korea. It also landed him in jail.
Maritime experts called the abandonment shocking — violating a proud international (and South Korean) tradition of stewardship based at least as much on accepted codes of behavior as by law.
“That guy’s an embarrassment to anybody who’s ever had command at sea,” said John B. Padgett III, a retired United States Navy rear admiral and former submarine captain.
His sentiments were echoed by Capt. William H. Doherty, who has commanded Navy and merchant ships and managed safety operations at a major cruise line. He called Mr. Lee’s decision to leave his 447 passengers “a disgrace,” and likened it to the desertion of the stricken Costa Concordia cruise ship off the Italian coast in 2012. “You can’t take responsibility, or say you do, for nearly 500 souls, and then be the first in the lifeboat,” he said.
Civil courts in the United States have long viewed captains as having an obligation to protect their passengers and ships, but the cases in South Korea and Italy seem likely to test the notion of criminal liability in disasters. 
The captain of the Italian ship, Francesco Schettino, is on trial on manslaughter charges after the sinking of his ship left more than 30 people dead.
The death toll in the South Korean accident stood at 36 as of late Saturday, with 266 missing.
Most countries do not explicitly state that a captain must be the last person to leave a distressed ship, experts say, giving captains the leeway to board lifeboats or nearby ships if they can better command an evacuation from there. South Korea’s law, however, appears to be explicit, allowing the authorities to arrest Mr. Lee for abandoning the boat and its passengers in a time of crisis. An international maritime treaty known as the Safety of Life at Sea — first adopted in 1914 after the Titanic disaster — makes a ship’s captain responsible for the safety of his vessel and everyone on board. A later version of the treaty said that passengers should be able to evacuate within 30 minutes of a general alarm.
The Sewol took two and a half hours to sink, but many survivors have reported that the crew told passengers it was safer to stay put inside the ship, likely dooming them. (The captain says he later issued instructions for passengers to evacuate the ship, but it remains unclear if that was conveyed to passengers.) 
The United States Navy’s rules are more explicit than ones for commercial ships. Dave Werner, Naval History and Heritage Command spokesman, said that Navy rules dating to 1814 require a captain to remain with a stricken ship as long as possible and salvage as much of it as he can.
Mr. Werner cited current regulations that state, “If it becomes necessary to abandon the ship, the commanding officer should be the last person to leave.”
The list of military and commercial ship captains who refused to abandon ship is a long one. 
The Titanic’s captain, E. J. Smith, was probably steaming too fast when the giant ship hit an iceberg, but he later won praise for helping to save more than 700 lives. He insisted that women and children be evacuated first, and he stayed near the bridge as the ship went down.
After the Andrea Doria collided with another vessel off Nantucket in 1956, the captain, Piero Calamai, pledged to remain on his own on the listing ship after the passengers were evacuated to try to save it. He agreed to abandon the vessel only when other officers refused to leave without him.
When the Navy’s first Cold War spy submarine, the Cochino, caught fire and was about to sink in the Barents Sea not far from Russia in 1949, the captain, Cmdr. Rafael C. Benitez, refused to abandon the surfaced submarine even after all his men had run across a wooden plank connecting them to another vessel heaving in the rough seas. 
Commander Benitez, who was hoping to save the Cochino, crossed the plank to safety only when the men on the other vessel yelled that his sub was sinking fast. This sense of a captain’s duty was also part of the narrative in the crash of US Airways Flight 1549, which was forced to ditch in the Hudson River after losing power in both engines after it struck birds. After landing the plane on the water, Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III twice checked the sinking cabin to make sure no one was left before leaving himself.
And sometimes the heroes are fellow passengers. 
In 1991, a 500-foot-long Greek-owned cruise ship called the Oceanos flooded off the coast of South Africa in 30-foot swells after an engine explosion. Instead of evacuating the 571 people on board, the captain and his crew left, claiming later that they went to seek help.
According to news accounts at the time, a magician who had been on board to provide entertainment radioed for help and coordinated the rescue effort from the bridge. The magician, Robin Bolton, was among the last people to leave the ship along with members of the South African Navy who were dropped aboard to search for any stragglers.
Everyone survived.
The Sewol had its own heroes and heroines.
One, Park Ho-jin, 16, found a 6-year-old girl standing alone and wet on the side of the ship as it was sliding slowly into the water. She had been left there by her older brother who went back into the ship to hunt for their mother. Mr. Park swept the child into his arms and delivered her to rescuers who had pulled a boat alongside the ship. Mr. Park made it onto a later rescue boat. 
Another high school student who survived reported that a crew member named Park Ji-young, 22, had helped teenagers to get life jackets and escape by urging them to jump into the frigid waters of the Yellow Sea where rescue boats were waiting. She stayed behind without a life jacket for herself despite the youngsters’ entreaties to jump with them. “After saving you, I will get out,” she said. “The crew goes out last.” 
She was later found dead, floating in the sea. 

Correction: April 19, 2014
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the given name and surname of the captain of the Andrea Doria. He was Piero Calamai, not Peiro Calamari.
Reporting was contributed by Thom Shanker, Choe Sang-Hun, Hyun Lee and Jiha Ham. 

Source: The Barna Research Group.Many clergy within this group leave pastoral ministry due to the Clergy Killer Phenomenon.  This phenomenon is affecting our ministries, congregations and communities.  Day after day, call after call, The Ecumenical Educational Council receives the alarming news, “I am simply unable to proceed in my ministry.” 
After several screenings of the documentary BETRAYED: The Clergy Killer’s DNA, discussions with theologians, sociologists, psychologists, pastors and religious scholars, The Ecumenical Educational Council selected BETRAYED: The Clergy Killer’s DNA the most important Christian documentary of 2013. We recommend every pastor to study this documentary. 


Since the release of BETRAYED in late 2013, we have been contacted by hundreds of clergy, from all denominations, expressing their gratitude for what they call “a film, long overdue” and “the most important Christian movie sinceThe Passion of the Christ.”

We recommend that all Christians, pastors and clergy, church leaders and church members, see this movie so they will develop an increased alertness in order to expose and neutralize the clergy killer phenomenon before it destroys more clergy.

Examined in the documentary are the following eye opening statistics:
70% of pastors report a continuing struggle with depression. 
Source: Hartford Institute for Religious Research

90% of clergy in all denomination will not stay in ministry long enough to reach the age of retirement. 
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics

50% of pastors indicate that they would leave the ministry if they had another way of making a living. 
Source:  Hartford Institute for Religious Research

61% of congregations have forced a pastor to leave.
Source: Christianity Today Magazine

83% of clergy spouses want the spouse to leave pastoral ministry.
Source Hartford Institute for Religious Research

80% of pastors reported they receive no support from peers.
Source: Hartford Institute of Religious Reseach
I pray you will join the growing number of men and women who are finding this film to be of paramount importance for healthy congregational life, and a tremendous resource for overworked clergy who are often targeted by clergy killers.

A critique of the documentary by Rev. Dr. Jason Miller and a synopsis of the film follows below.  Please support this extraordinary film.  Post this urgent message to your facebook and twitter accounts.  Inform your congregation and fellow clergy about this most important educational film.  It is, in our studied opinion, a defining chapter in the life of the Church.

May Easter week bring you the peace and joy of our Savior Jesus Christ.

In His Service,

Rev. Dr. David Moreland

P.S. please email your comments to me:


BETRAYED: The Clergy Killer's DNA
Run Time: 93 minutes
4 1/2 Stars

By: Revd. Jason Miller, D.D., Ph.D.

BETRAYED: The Clergy Killer’s DNA is an extraordinary Christian documentary.

s leading theologians, ministers and preachers in breathtaking sequences explaining the Clergy Killer Phenomenon. Superior Media has produced a perfect documentary that was produced in churches around the world. While watching this teaching experience, I felt every spiritual and mental emotion possible.

BETRAYED it is a Christian cinematic treasure. A great documentary that concentrates on the real unsung heroes of our Christian Faith!

BETRAYED is the equivalent of our walk with Christ in troubling times facing the church today.

An extraordinary feature on the DVD is a prayer by Dr. James Forbes which is composed in the Riverside Church in New York. While I was watching Dr. Forbes prayer I found myself praying with him for every minister and lay person in the world.
This production rates 4 1/2 stars. If you have not been confronted with a Clergy Killer in your congregation, you need to watch this documentary. If you have been confronted with a Clergy Killer you need to watch this documentary.

BETRAYED is the optimum protection for ministers.  

BETRAYED will ensure that your church continues to grow in the faith and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


BETRAYED confirms that there is a pandemic stretching around the globe at an alarming rate, one of which most people are unaware even exists. It is a spiritual sickness that affects over 50% of all congregations, and every month it is responsible for over 1,500 clergy leaving active ministry worldwide. It has been one of the best kept secrets of the Church until the production of Betrayed: A Clergy Killer's DNA.

Medical experts, leading theologians, sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists and church historians expose what is called the "Clergy Killer Phenomenon." The reality of "the clergy killer phenomenon" is that evil has found a great exposure in organized religion. Within a congregation, clergy killers are usually few in number. Yet, because they are willing to violate all the traditional beliefs and practices of spiritual faith and mission, the intimidation they inflict on today's clergy is uncompromising and unlike anything people might experience in a secular workplace.

Among the many professionals interviewed is Dr. G. Lloyd Rediger, who coined the "clergy killer" phrase and is the world's premier authority on this growing syndrome. Some people, upon hearing the term for the first time, think it is too harsh and extreme and that no one deserves being called a clergy killer. However, once people hear firsthand accounts of the devastation wreaked upon ordained men and women and their families and congregations, they understand comments from people like Dr. James Forbes, Senior Pastor Emeritus of Riverside Church in New York City, who say that the term "clergy killer" is not strong enough!

Throughout this documentary, it becomes apparent that denominational officials, seminaries and lay leaders have either been unequipped to rescue attacked pastors or they have chosen to ignore the problem, hoping that it will just go away.
The production ends with professionals teaching that there are ways to address the clergy killer phenomenon, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed now. There is no more time.

The Ecummenical Educational Council, 2400 East Main Street, Suite 248, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


The Australian weekly, The Bulletin, regularly searches
for the ‘young executive of the year’. The winners will have displayed
‘success and flair in the broad range of skills required in business
today. These include initiative, commitment, skills in managing
people, planning and financial ability, grasp of opportunity and
judgment. They will be men or women who have been exceptionally
successful in their field, achieved measurable business goals
and demonstrated outstanding performance…’

In his best-selling autobiography, Lee Iacocca asks
legendary football coach Vince Lombardi his formula for success.
‘First, teach the fundamentals; a player’s got to know the basics
of the game’, he said. ‘Next, you’ve got to keep him in line;
that’s discipline. The men have to play as a team. There’s no
room for prima donnas. And third: they’ve got to care for – to
love – each other. Each guy says to himself: ‘If I don’t block
that man, Paul’s going to get his legs broken. I have to do my
job well so he can do his’. ‘The difference between mediocrity
and greatness’, Lombardi said, ‘is the feeling these guys have
for each other. When you’ve got that sort of team spirit, you’ve
got a winning team.’

If we found the ‘complete’ pastor what would he or
she be like? How does a pastoral leader put together a winning

Some pastors seem to attract large congregations
effortlessly, but for most it’s uphill all the way. Some have
got it all together in their parishes; others – no less godly,
gifted or hard-working – live lives of quiet desperation. Why?
The tough reality: pastors know that, under God, their leadership
is the single most vital factor in the health and growth of a
church. ‘The difference between a growing church and a stagnant
one is pastoral leadership. Gifted men build great churches and
average men build average churches’ (Elmer Towns). ‘The pastor
heads the list of factors common to growing churches in America.
Show me a rapidly growing church, and I will show you a dynamic
leader whom God is using to make it happen’ (Peter Wagner).

(A caution, however: not all healthy churches are
large, and not all large churches are healthy… It is better
to talk about church health than church growth, effective rather
than ‘successful’ leadership).

My ministry is with pastors, and I’d suggest the
following composite of traits and ideas I’ve noted in the most
effective of them. (Composite, because the perfect pastor doesn’t

ACCOUNTABILITY – to God and to others – is the hallmark
of any Christian leader. We are servants of the church (although
the church is not our master – Christ is). Since Watergate, leaders
- politicians, managers, teachers, doctors, and pastors – are
expected to be accountable to their ‘clients’. Authentic pastors
welcome this trend. ‘Six days invisible, the seventh incomprehensible’
won’t do anymore. Pastors have an even more awesome stewardship:
accountability to God. In the timeless words of Richard Baxter
in The Reformed Pastor:

‘See that the work of saving grace be thoroughly
wrought in your own souls. Take heed to yourselves lest you be
void of that saving grace of God which you offer to others…
lest you perish while you call upon others to take heed of perishing.
Believe it, fellow-pastors, God never saved anyone for being a
preacher, nor because that one was an able preacher; but because
that preacher was justified, and sanctified, and consequently
faithful in the Master’s work’.

Be AMBITIOUS but remember ambition’s a slippery idea:
Paul was ambitious (2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 15:20; 1 Thessalonians
4:11-12), but so was Satan. Saints have a sublime indifference
to temporal success or failure. In this competitive world, our
business is not to get ahead of others but to get ahead of ourselves.
‘Wanting the church to grow’ is OK, but our fallen natures warn
us that can be a short step from ‘wanting to build an empire’.
One model is redemptive – humble, serving, costly; the other is
violent – competitive and alienating.

Some pastors are Type A people – goal-oriented, busy,
extroverted, church-builders. Others are Type B – quiet, supportive.
If both exist on a team, be clear about leadership roles, spiritual
gifts and ministry expectations, or there’ll be trouble.

Effective pastors are BIG persons. They take genuine
joy in the ministry-successes of others; so they won’t be threatened
by the giftedness of talented colleagues. They welcome feedback,
instituting formal and informal channels to get it. They aren’t
conformists; they’re prepared to take risks, even to fail occasionally.
They’re teachable – attending conferences, traveling to learn
from others, getting ideas through reading. Although they know
their ministry-priorities will not satisfy the expectations of
all in their congregation, everyone is loved anyhow. Their egos
don’t have to be fed by parading success stories. They relate
caringly to old and young, to the up-and-out and the down-and-out,
to leaders and to the broken. They have cool heads and warm hearts,
and don’t develop ‘messiah complexes’. And they are bigger than
their own denomination; they’re loyal, but don’t have a ‘my-group-right-or-wrong’
attitude. They believe God gives insights and skills, by his Spirit,
to Christians and mission groups who also acknowledge Jesus as
‘Saviour, Lord, and God according to the Scriptures’.

‘Left-handed dictionaries’ poke fun at COMMITTEES.
(A committee is a group that takes minutes and wastes hours …
the unfit selected by the unwilling to do the unnecessary… where
the loneliness of thought is replaced by the togetherness of nothingness…).
Most church committees are too large, too numerous, poorly structured
and/or poorly managed. They constipate the church-as-organization
and become sluggish, cumbersome, tedious, and indecisive. Who
wants to serve on a committee whose work is alien, distasteful,
time-consuming, irrelevant or incomprehensible – or if one doubts
that all the work will change anything? One management expert
says: ‘Most people clearly prefer the pursuit of happiness to
the happiness of pursuit. Only about a third of committee-members
perform with little prodding, another third are moderately effective
with some needling, the other third are no good at all and not
worth the time to chase them up… Remember causes don’t need
workers so much as they need informed and dedicated advocates’.

If church-leaders spend more time in committees than
in spiritual growth groups, that’s a sign of the church’s ill-health.
I meet Baptist deacons who never pray with anyone, Anglican church-wardens
who never study the Bible, Uniting Church elders who don’t know
how to lead someone to personal faith in Christ. That’s just not
good enough.

COMMUNITY. You won’t survive as a pastor on your
own. Find a prayer-partner, soul friend, sharing group, or, better,
spiritual director. Research says pastors are lonely: they are
the least likely to have a close friend.

In our preaching, should we be CULTURE-affirming
or -denying or -confronting? Yes, yes and yes: it depends. Will
Herberg (Protestant, Catholic, Jew) says Americans look mainly
for one thing in their religion – security: social acceptance
(mainline churches), or eternal security (the fundamentalists).
Both produce ‘civic religion’, a ‘cult of culture’ validating
culture and society without bringing them under judgement. ‘Love
your neighbour’ sermons make love voluntary, having little to
do with justice. Most churches espouse political neutrality, which
is opting for the status quo.

Good managers DELEGATE ruthlessly. Pastor-teachers,
says Paul, equip others for ministry (Ephesians 4:12). So if the
pastor isn’t training, training, training, he or she is likely
to be doing things other could do, and thus denying them a ministry.
Don’t buy a dog and bark yourself! Run ‘How to Help Your Friend’
counseling courses. Coach elders and lay visitors ‘on the job’,
taking them to hospitals and home visits. Leading worship services
and preaching should be shared by those with competence (and only
those). Delegation and training are the keys to breaking through
the 200/300 barrier. Peter Wagner talks about insecure pastors
who need to know everybody, including kids’ (and even pets’) names.
They don’t have a growth/delegation mentality. Being a ‘rancher’
isn’t opting out of pastoral care, it’s equipping under-shepherds.
The church’s small groups should be the main focus of pastoral
support, with elders/small group leaders as the first ‘port-of-call’.

But delegation isn’t abdication. John Claypool says
‘What often happens in life (is that) persons are given a difficult
job and then, instead of struggling with them and helping them
find their way, the group sits back and lets them struggle alone
until at last they ‘hang themselves’.

An opposite – and common – complaint is that pastors
give jobs then meddle themselves (delegation minus training).

Delegation + training + mentoring = DISCIPLING. ‘Go
and make disciples’ is still Jesus’ mandate to his followers.
How? The way he did it. Every pastor should be encouraged to find
his ‘three, twelve and seventy’. The pastors’ task is to spend
half their time with God, half with people and the rest in administration!
And half the people-time should be invested in leaders. This is
hard work, and tests a pastor’s authentic spirituality, so it’s
easier to opt out and succumb to the less rigorous task of oiling
church machinery.

We are models: we can’t escape that. Pastors who
model a thankful spirit generally see it reproduced in the congregation.
So we mustn’t complain too much: after 3 or 4 years we have imprinted
our example onto those people. Indeed Bonhoefer (Life Together)
says pastors should never complain about their people – not even
to God!

ENCOURAGEMENT. Good pastors have a certain naivete
about them. They see the best in others (‘all his geese are swans’
it was said of one great pastor). They take time to congratulate
those who have helped, and build on people’s strengths rather
than reacting to their ‘rough edges’. Praise is not flattery:
sincere encouragement builds confidence; insincere flattery inflates
one’s ego. Praise never hurt anyone; silence or destructive criticism
are killers! Encouragement draws the best out of people. Like
Jesus, always be gentle with the wounded, and – only if you have
earned the right – occasionally be tough with the lazy or those
whose potential may be realized more by rebuke than a soft word.
Helpful criticism should always – or nearly always – leave the
person feeling he/she has been helped. Goethe said ‘If you treat
someone as they are they will stay as they are. If you treat them
as if they were what they ought to be, and could be, they will
become a bigger and better people’. (Aren’t you glad the prodigal
met his father before his elder brother?). James Stewart quotes
this legend: God decided to reduce the weapons in the devil’s
armoury to one. Satan could choose which ‘fiery dart’ he would
keep. He chose the power of discouragement. ‘If only I can persuade
Christians to be thoroughly discouraged’, he reasoned, ‘they will
make no further effort and I shall be enthroned in their lives’.

An 80-year-old saint in Canada wrote me a note:

If he earns your praise bestow it; If you like him
let him know it; Let words of true encouragement be said. Do not
wait till life is over and he’s underneath the clover; For he
cannot read his tomb-stone when he’s dead.

Suspect theology but wise psychology.

The most explicit New Testament reference to EXCELLENCE
(‘choose what is best’, Philippians 1:9-11) suggests that it issues
from a loving heart rather than an optimistic ego. This cuts across
a lot of modern self-improvement/positive thinking ideas. ‘Pastor,
you can be a winner’ presumes there’ll be some losers, and that
can be a pagan idea.

Life is a leaf of paper white Whereon each one of
us may write His word or two, and then comes night. Greatly begin!
though thou hast time But for a line, be that sublime… Not failure,
but low aim is crime.

James Lowell

The books In Search of Excellence (Peters & Waterman)
and A Passion for Excellence (Peters & Austin) point out that
it was ‘pretty difficult for management to mess up an American
corporation in the 25 years following World War II’. Now that’s
all changed (as it has in the church). A passion for excellence
‘means thinking big and starting small: excellence happens when
high purpose and intense pragmatism meet’. It involves three dynamics:
superior service to customers, constant innovation, and the consistent
rewarding of creativity of everyone in the organisation. There
are many constraints in churches encouraging mediocrity: let’s
resist them all, for God’s sake.

Pastors of growing congregations are FACILITATORS.
There are three ways of looking at church-people – scenery (‘good
number out this morning’), machinery (the way they relate functionally)
and as complex, unique individuals. Good pastors are gifted ‘networkers’,
devising dozens of ways for people (particularly newcomers) to
relate to each other. Here’s one idea: invite four or five families
(mix them sensitively) to the manse/rectory for Sunday lunch once
a month. Get each one to bring a casserole or dessert (enough
to feed two families), and, if you need most of Sunday afternoon
to prepare for evening preaching, they won’t mind your suggesting
a cut-off time. Another idea: get every family to fill in a care-card
each Sunday, with feedback/prayer requests on the back. This is
more than an attendance slip: it helps us keep in touch with each
other responsibly.

GROWTH means many things: people coming to faith
in Christ, growing in Christian maturity, being incorporated into
the church, involvement in ministry in the church and in the world.
All this is ‘church growth’. (Have you heard of ‘Little Bo Peep’
churches? They lost their sheep and don’t know where to find them!)
But remember,

All growth is trouble! If comfort is your need better
to sleep, curled around yourself forever shelled with indifference,
like an unsown seed, like a smooth stone that cannot bleed or
put forth leaves or know what the great have known!

(R.H. Grenville)

GOAL-SETTING is crucial. Goals should always be specific,
attainable, measurable. Many Western churches balk at setting
numerical membership-goals. That’s OK: find others (50% in cell
groups by 19??; contact every home in the neighborhood in the
next two years; research unmet community needs before December).
Set goals for health and growth should result.

A church leader’s HOME LIFE is an important example
to others (Titus 1:6,7). ‘Workaholics’ are not good models for
new Christians. It is possible for a busy pastor to spend 3-4
nights a week at home in quality time with his or her family (you
have to learn to work smarter rather than harder). After all,
ministry begins inside our front door. And how do you answer this
complaint, from a 14-year-old pastor’s son: ‘The church-people
can interrupt our family time or meal-times whenever they want,
but we’re not allowed to interrupt you when you’re with a church-person.
So church must be more important to you than our family!’

Living in HOPE isn’t the same as being an optimist.
Optimism can actually be shallow and faithless, whereas hope is
humble and trustful, whatever the circumstances. Hope in God assures
us that he will be with us, in our agonies and ecstasies, as he
was with his people in the past. So we major on our resources
in Christ not the difficulties.

INNOVATION. Effective pastors are creative initiators.
Earlier in my ministry I’d complain about the paucity of ideas/programs/ministries
emanating from others. There was a good and bad side to that.
I genuinely tried to encourage others to dream dreams and actualize
visions. But sometimes it was a rationalization for my ‘opting
out’. As a leader I had to learn that if I didn’t ‘make it happen’
I couldn’t expect anyone else to. The pastor, David Watson used
to say, is the ‘cork in the bottle’: that’s where the problem
usually lies. In business they talk about ‘in-basket time management’
- ‘let’s take each week/year as it comes’. That’s not good enough.
Effective pastors believe there’s a better way. There’s a holy
restlessness about them. They don’t throw out certain traditions
because they’re old, but because they’re irrelevant. They get
excited in brainstorming sessions, encouraging ideas – even the
craziest ones – to flow freely.

We pastors must never forget that JESUS CHRIST is
the head of the church, not us. The church isn’t a social club
with the pastor as president. Sometimes clergy talk about ‘my’
church, ‘my’ people, ‘my’ leaders: such language may be patronizing,
however well-intentioned.

Pastors of dynamic churches KEEP AT IT. Longer pastorates
are needed to build churches. But not every pastor is suited to
the longer haul: some may have a healing or inspirational shorter-term
ministry. However, in general, I believe pastors ought to begin
every ministry with the idea ‘I’m going to serve here for life’,
and not view each pastorate as a stepping-stone to a ‘nicer’ one.
As husband and wife, so pastor and parish take each other ‘for
better or worse’.

LEADERSHIP is ‘getting things done with and through
others who want to do them!’ The pastor is a ‘leader of leaders’.
The buck ends with us. The feckless Jim Hacker, MP, of ‘Yes, Minister’
put it succinctly: ‘The people have spoken. I am their leader.
I must follow them’. Leadership is God’s gift to the church -
every church – but is expressed variously. In tribal societies
the consensus of the people is embodied in the decrees of the
chief. Monarchical episcopates arise in times of persecution,
but sometimes stifle lay-people’s initiatives in democratic societies.
Christian Brethren may have no formal ‘pastoral leaders’, but
there’ll always be an informal system. Congregational models maximize
lay ownership of the church’s goals, but increase potential for
‘little despots’ and schisms.

Autocratic leaders assume people won’t do anything
unless told to, discourage innovation, believe they know best,
are often inflexible and insensitive, tend to use the group for
their already-decided ends. Bureaucratic leaders believe the right
parliamentary procedures will produce organizational rules and
regulations to order behaviour without working too hard at enhancing
human relationships. Paternalistic leaders identify almost completely
with the group; there’s the danger of hero-worship or the development
of a personality cult; when the leader goes the group is helpless.
Laissez-faire leadership leaves things alone: minimum direction,
maximum individual freedom, non-directive maintenance of existing
structures are the hallmarks here.

Effective leaders understand themselves, their co-leaders,
their group, and the social milieu. They accurately assesses the
climate and readiness for growth, know the gifts, limitations
and responsibilities of their co-leaders, and act appropriately
in the light of all these perceptions. They allows subordinates
to take initiatives, or facilitate group-freedom as appropriate.

MOTIVATION is getting people to do what you want
them to do because they want to do it! The leader/motivator must
understand the group’s needs (eg. for dependence or independence,
love and ‘belongingness’, self-esteem and self-actualization),
abilities (eg. knowledge, experience and skill, readiness to assume
responsibility, tolerance of ambiguity), and perceptions (eg.
interest in the idea, understanding of goals, expectations etc.).
McGregor’s well-known ‘theory X’ leaders assume people don’t want
to work, they dislike responsibility, and must be coerced into
effort; theory Y suggests that people will work hard, accept responsibility,
and be loyal to the organization’s goals if they are ‘handled
right’. So when a pastor complains ‘the blighters won’t work’
that pastor is making a judgment about his or her own leadership.

MISSION. In his seminal book Christianity Rediscovered
Vincent Donovan talks about the ‘choke law’: once a church is
established, pastoral and administrative work tends to choke out
continuing evangelization. The ‘static and paralyzing idea’ of
the mission compound replaces real mission. He quotes Hoekendijk:
‘The idea of church without mission is an absurdity’. A church
vestry minuted its solution to a declining membership: appoint
two committees, to organise fetes and socials. ‘Remember Jack?
He used to run the hamburger stall. What’s happened to him? A
fete would bring him back to church…’ Can you pick the fallacy
here? There’s another choke law operative in some churches: the
legitimate desire to evangelize chokes out other aspects of mission,
such as deeds of compassion and works of justice.

In every dynamic, healthy church the MUSIC is done
well, and the musicians are clearly under the authority of the
pastors. Anglican Canon Michael Green says, ‘As soon as renewal
hits your church, sack your organist!’ There’s an old saying:
‘When the devil wants to enter a church he usually comes through
the choir vestry!’ Why? Music is the easiest church activity enjoyed
for its own sake. A bad choir views the congregation as audience.
A spirit-led choir worships, and leads the people of God into
the presence of God.

NAMES. In a brotherhood – and sisterhood – let us
be known by Christian names, rather than titles or offices. So,
pastors, take ‘Rev’. off the front and degrees off the back of
your name: you don’t need status that way (unless it’s helpful
in civic contexts). Here’s a good word from the diary of Brother
Roger of Taize: ‘In the life of the church the shepherd, the one
who is at the heart of the living cell which a community is, has
only one charge, to be the servant of communion. [The shepherd]
is there to keep alive what otherwise would dislocate and scatter…
I have never wanted to be called ‘prior’ of our community. I am
their brother. For the same reason, I refused the Legion of Honour.
Why? Because today it is impossible for those holding positions
of responsibility in the church to add honorific titles to their
service of God’.

Pastors are NURTURERS, not primarily performing tasks
but growing people. We nurture by example and by exhortation (in
that order, I Peter 5:3; I Timothy 4:11,12; Titus 2:7).

ORGANIZING, says Norman Blaikie (The Plight of the
Australian Clergy) ranks ‘seventh in importance, third in terms
of time spent, seventh in satisfaction, and fifth in terms of
effectiveness’ of eight key pastoral roles. (Eighth in both importance
and time: social reformer!). Organizing, he says, is the role
that causes clergy the greatest frustration. Astute pastors are
constantly looking for administrators: is someone about to retire
who could help – even without cost to the church?

PRAYER, preaching and planning are three key clergy
roles. When Moses’ father-in-law told him he was killing himself,
he suggested three priorities: teaching the Lord’s statutes, intercession,
and appointing co-judges. Jesus, too, was a teacher, a person
of prayer, and delegated ministry very early to his disciples.
After a social welfare foulup, the apostles appointed special
helpers so they could be devoted to prayer and the ministry of
the Word. These remain the top three priorities for spiritual
leaders. In Spirituality for Ministry, Urban T. Holmes says prayer
is to spirituality as eating is to hunger. Prayer, he says, is
more than a ‘wish-list’. The deepest prayer involves contemplation
(‘knowing ourselves in order that we might know God so that we
might know ourselves’) and ‘coinherence’ (bearing in God’s presence
the pain of those we serve). Henri Nouwen in Reaching Out wrote,
‘Without the Bible, without silent time and without someone to
direct us, finding our way to God is very hard and practically
impossible’. Most clergy confess to reading the Bible for sermon-ideas
or clarification of dogma rather than ‘praying the Bible’.

Good PREACHING – by itself – will not grow a church
anymore, but bad preaching will certainly empty it! The era of
preaching is by no means over – I believe it never will be. In
a better-educated church a declamatory style ought to give way
to what John Claypool (The Preaching Event) calls ‘confessional’
preaching. Good preaching is evangelical (people won’t follow
an uncertain sound) and the best method, I believe, is expository.
However, as Alfred North Whitehead perceptively stated, ‘religions
commit suicide when they find their inspiration in their dogmas’.
Christianity is essentially relational, so preaching must ‘relate’
too. Some clergy seem to believe they ‘supply religion’ to people
in their homilies. A once-a-week sermon is a very thin diet for
a growing Christian: many people ‘attend Church’ regularly but
can’t say what God is doing in their lives. There ought to be
bookstalls, audio- book- and video-libraries, printed sermon outlines,
study-guides, etc., to supplement the spoken word. And you can
pick a preacher who isn’t doing careful study and reflection in
the first three minutes. Our people deserve better. An hour in
the study for each minute in the pulpit was Fosdick’s suggestion!

Good leaders are good PLANNERS. If we fail to plan
we plan to fail: to make no plans is a plan in itself. Planning
‘clothes our dreams’. Good planners know their goal, think backwards
by writing down the steps needed to accomplish that goal, working
out the time, money, and effort needed to complete each step,
scheduling dates when each step takes place.

Pastors ought to be well QUALIFIED for their calling.
What does this mean? Academic qualifications are important (Moses
and Paul were both highly educated), particularly if our church-people
are getting a better education these days. However, spiritual
and moral attributes dominate the lists in the pastoral epistles
(I Timothy 3:1-3, Titus 1:5-9, 2:1-15). Truly great pastors are
stretching themselves theologically; they do short courses in
the social and management sciences; they’re reading widely in
many secular fields. But above all they are striving for righteousness,
godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness, running their
best in the race of faith (1 Timothy 6:11,12).

RELAX! All the great leaders in Scripture spent a
disproportionate amount of their lives in deserts. ‘Stress’ (in
physics) is the impacting of outside forces on a body distorting
it. Psychologically, it results from trying to do too much, living
in the fast lane. ‘Burnout’ results from a combination of idealism
+ helping others sacrifically + vulnerability to excessive demands
- fatigue and frustration. It’s ‘compassion fatigue’. You’re not
meant to work harder than your Creator: take a day off each week
religiously. Develop hobbies. I met a pastor who goes skydiving
(‘you don’t think about anything else doing that!’), another makes
stained glass objects, another joined the Country Fire Authority
(‘putting out other kinds of fires!’), another restores old furniture.
Others read a novel, play golf, go to a movie. Take a sabbatical
after six or seven years, and insist your leaders ‘rest’ after
six years in office (write that into your constitution). Every
day ‘waste time with God’ as Sheila Cassidy suggests (Prayer for
Pilgrims). You spend time helping clients, parishioners; you give
time to those whom you love. Someone said: ‘We tend to worship
our work, to work at our play, and to play at our worship…’

Church STRUCTURE should reflect priorities. If worship
(all we do, gathered and scattered, to the praise of our God)
community (enhancing, Christianly, the lives of others), formation
(the process by which the Spirit of God applies the Word of God
to the heart and mind of the child of God so that he/she might
become like the Son of God) and mission (everything we do in the
world – evangelism, acts of mercy and justice) are the only purposes
of the church (and they are), then most of our time should be
devoted to these. Finance, administration, music, buildings, special
interest groups, and constitutions are means to those ends. The
degree to which church organizations devote time and energy to
means rather than ends is the degree to which that church is dying!
That is, most committee-time should be spent discovering ways
to enhance worship, fellowship, formation and mission, not merely
turning the wheels of the church-as-organization.

SINCERITY, n., freedom from pretence or deceit; honesty;
genuineness. When leading worship, the pastor, too, genuinely
worships (doesn’t shuffle papers, peer over the hymn book to check
who’s not there etc.). Prayers are from the heart, whether read
or extempore. Pastors love evangelism, and don’t merely issue
exhortations about it. (Recent surveys among evangelical pastors
tell us they believe evangelism is very important, but they don’t
see themselves as taking primary responsibility for it!). Every
letter, phone call, visit, committee meeting is an opportunity
for the sincere pastor to move people a little further into the

THEOLOGY. Ordination for ministry (for every Christian)
is a gift from God: given, I believe at baptism. The whole church
is pastoral, priestly, prophetic. Ordination for pastoral/priestly/prophetic
leadership, is a special gift to the church. Theologies of ministry
and ordination vary, but * it’s a ministry of the Word, so pastor-teachers
will daily soak their minds and hearts in Scripture; * the preached
Word is Christ’s Word, more than mere human words.

Managing TIME and volunteers are clergy’s two key
hassles. James Stewart (Heralds of God) writes: ‘Beware the professional
busy-ness which is slackness in disguise. The trouble is we may
even succeed in deceiving ourselves. Our diary is crowded. Meetings,
discussions, interviews, committees, throng the hectic page. We
are driven here, there, everywhere by the whirling machinery of
good works. We become all things to all people. Laziness? The
word, we protest, is not in our vocabulary. In all this unending
tyranny of routine the central things are sacrificed or carried
through inadequately…’

UNDERSTANDING people and groups (psychology and social
psychology) can be learned, to some extent. More and more pastors
are buying cheap ‘remainders’ to keep abreast of insights into
these fields. One example: in any group committed to an ideology
(eg. every church), people will range across a spectrum from radicals,
through progressives, conservatives, to traditionalists. Radicals
want to change everything, progressives many things, conservatives
some things, traditionalists nothing. Radicals are angry (concerned
for justice as impersonal structures rip off the poor); traditionalists
are fearful (with a great emotional investment in the status quo,
so ‘law and order’ is their catchcry). Prophets (eg. Jesus with
the pharisees) are always radical, priests are traditionalist,
passing on a tradition (cf. Jesus’ teaching about the law). Incidentally,
if pastors are perceived to be too prophetic or traditionalist,
they’re in for trouble with people at the other end! Pastors as
change-agents will note that change cannot be commended by people
two removes away. For example, conservatives don’t listen to radicals,
but may be persuaded by a progressive.

Pastors of dynamic churches are VISIONARY: they ‘envision’
a certain shape for their church. I heard an effective leader
tell a pastors’ conference: ‘Figure out what the big idea is and
give your life to it!’ Expect great things from God; attempt great
things for God (Carey). These pastors are dreaming dreams about
all sorts of outreach ministries. Knowing that ’80% is full’,
they’re weighing options: shall we extend (both buildings and
parking), relocate, multiply Sunday services, plant a daughter-church?
(They have an option to buy all the properties surrounding the
church’s). They’re constantly inventing theoretical structures
for their church’s government: how can we operate with more people-ownership
of our goals, but with fewer people-hours in administration?

Pastors differ as to whether VISITATION is a bane
or blessing. We can all learn to visit from love of sheep rather
than from the tyranny of obligation (I visit you, so you come
to my church). Tom Allen (The Face of My Parish) says: ‘Unless
our visitation is truly pastoral it is irrelevant. There is little
virtue in seeing every member of our congregation once a year
if our visit is spent in amiable conversation. It may raise us
in the esteem of our people. But assuredly it is distracting us
from the work of God’.

The management of VOLUNTEERS is the subject of burgeoning
literature. Volunteers serve without financial remuneration. They
are committed to a cause, desire to meet a challenge, wish to
contribute to the well-being of others, have some spare time,
and enjoy the gratification of a job well done. The theory that
if you give someone a job so they’ll become active in the church
generally isn’t true. The best way to select volunteers is not
‘from the floor’, but through the careful work of a nominating
committee. One expert says ‘You don’t elect the best people, you
pick them’. And you don’t put people on committees simply to fill
a quota or membership requirement. Volunteers need to feel they’re
both doing something useful, and participating in an opportunity
for self-growth. They need recognition and appreciation, training,
involvement in the planning and setting of goals, development
of team-spirit, delegation of responsibilities, and evaluative

We pastors need special WISDOM (Ephesians 1:17, James
1:5) for living a good and humble life (James 3:13), and for counseling
and instructing others (Colossians 3:16). More conflicts would
see ‘win-win resolutions’ if we were wiser. Pastors, don’t move
too far or fast until you’ve developed trust. Don’t share your
dreams, visions and goals too early: those attracted to the church
by a previous pastor’s aspirations will misinterpret your enthusiasm.
Public anger or rebuke by a pastor is usually counter-productive.
Even secular psychologies are now counseling self-control rather
than ‘letting it all hang out’. Listen to feeling-tones, hidden
agendas, and past hurts when people react irrationally: as an
authority-figure, you’ll sometimes be ‘dumped on’ (counselors
call it ‘transference’).

WORSHIP – the individual and the gathered community
serving the Lord – is the essence of all we do. To what extent
would you describe your ‘worship services’ as celebration? Sometimes
they’re more like funerals than wedding-feasts! How often are
we ‘lost in wonder, love and praise’ before our God?

Healthy pastors and churches promote XENOPHILIA (love
of other or unlike persons) and don’t suffer from XANTHISM (a
disease which yellows the skin)! You draw the implications!

YOURSELF. Pastoral ministry sometimes attracts maladjusted
persons – the narcissist (others’ admiration and dependence feeds
their self-image); the ‘over-generous’ (kind and reassuring, but
whose chronic anxiety is alleviated by being oversympathetic,
overprotective, too willing to give to others – particularly ‘clinging
vine’ types); the autocratic (power-oriented, needing docile followers
giving obedience, respect and maybe flattery). Pastors are the
last professionals to visit members of the opposite sex alone
in their homes, so these three groups are ripe for seduction.

Pastor, you’re not perfect, you’re not always a hero
or a mature sophisticate! Watch your self (Acts 20:28, I Timothy
4:16). ‘Gold, glory, girls’ are three of the ‘fiery darts’ the
devil aims at under- (or over-) developed egos.

Do you and your spouse plan regular communication-times?
One method: Set aside an hour; pray, then write feelings down
for 10 minutes; exchange papers, and go off alone to read each
other’s; after 15 minutes, discuss. Four rules: (1) don’t defend
behaviour the other finds objectionable; (2) don’t attack verbally;
(3) don’t argue about the factuality of what the other has said;
(4) if there are heated statements, don’t react heatedly: repeat
back the essence of what the other has said to try to understand

It’s fine to be ZEALOUS says Paul (Galatians 4:18)
‘so long as the purpose is good’. Spending the one short life
you’re given caring for people in churches is a good purpose,
it’s hard, glorious work, and the rewards are out of this world!

Therefore to thee it was given Many to save with
thyself; And at the end of thy day, O faithful shepherd! to come
Bringing thy sheep in thy hand.

- Matthew Arnold, Rugby Chapel.



The following was submitted to a Pentecostal Church with whom I’ve been consulting:
Dear friends
I’ve been asked to provide a report for the Board. I’d suggest looking at some or all of the following:
100 Marks of a Healthy Church –
Case-Study of a healthy N.T. church (Antioch) –
2-1 JUSTICE/LOVE: These are Jesus’ two key ‘kingdom values’ (Luke 11:42). Love is associated with a deep God-given respect for every individual; justice is the right use of power. A loving congregation will give and receive costly communications of words and deeds; a just church will ensure that the weak are strengthened and cared for. See
2-2 TRAINING TO RECOGNIZE AND DEAL WITH SPIRITUAL ABUSE: See the articles on our website (use the search facility)
2-3 AFFIRMATION OF DIVERSITY: Healthy churches embrace diversity in ‘non core’ Christian theology and worship, while teaching and practising unity in the faith-community. See
2-4 TOLERANCE OF AMBIGUITY: Mature Christians don’t need everything ‘nailed down’: they actually welcome new ideas. See and
3-1. EMPOWERING LEADERS don’t really care who-does-what so long as God is honoured and people are given training and opportunities to use their spiritual gifts. See . An important area of training involves ‘How to help others’ –
3-2. LEADERSHIP STYLES may vary: there’s consensus, tribal, eldership, bureaucratic, autocratic, paternalistic, episcopal – or a combination of these. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, the ‘tribal chief’ embodies the consensus of people who trust him (example: the role of James in the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15). Autocrats believe they know best: which produces problems of trust with followers. See
3-3 SECURE LEADERS welcome 360-degree feedback. They want to know others’ opinions and values and have multiple regular systems for complaints/suggestions from everyone. See
3-5 ACCOUNTABILITY: In a healthy church leaders are accountable to
Spiritual Director –
Supervisor – See the relevant section in
* A key principle is that governance principles and practice should maximize the potential of the church for recognizing leaders’ gifts, for tight accountability, and for empowerment of the church for ministry.
* Ministry Descriptions for Staff: these include clear definitions of ministries/roles, accountability, who reports to whom, non-abusive appraisals of progress, dismissal etc.
* Authority needs to be matched with responsibility. If you are responsible for something, you are given creativity and freedom to lead within that area (with appropriate boundaries of course).
* Baptist Churches of NZ have adopted what they call “A Principle-based leadership Model” which is similar to John Kaiser’s “Winning on Purpose – Accountable Leadership Model”. Check out the Baptist NZ website
* There’s a healthy move away from some marketplace models – especially the assumption of ‘Pastor as CEO’. The Church is organic! See Viola’s Reimagining Church especially the section about leadership and governance, and Eugene Peterson’s The Unnecessary Pastor.
Jesus emphasized the care of the weak, children, the marginalized etc. These policy guidelines help us in practical ways to do this. Many Christian groups/denominations have done the work for us to be able to audit our performance in these areas of responsibility to each other:
4-1 Duty of Care: is the Church a Safe Place?
4-2 Working with children
4-3 Privacy Policy
4-4 Creche Guidelines
or for examples.
You’re all in my prayers!
Shalom/Salaam/Pax! Rowland Croucher
October 2008 (Updated August 2011)




JESUS (Mark 12:38-40)


RC - prophetic pattern in my life:

                                     -  PRACTISE X (ELDERS)

                             PRACTICE: 'ORDINATION --- ELITES'
--->> Prima Donnas (eg. FWBoreham)



BBC - 60 small groups, collegial pastoral team.

(So I didn't turn up at either graduation seminary - I was actually in the U.S. when Fuller's was on).

BOOK (UC): Your Church Can Come Alive: nobody has passed yet.


ST MARTINS: Collegial ministry team (not led by an apostle)
Ministry team 2014: how much $$? Divide it equally according to prescribed ministry description and hours worked. No hierarchies...
St M. Elders: Story of BBC elders --- hospital with dying lady/daughter




JESUS (Mark 12:38-40)


RC - prophetic pattern in my life: 

                                     -  PRACTISE X (ELDERS)

                             PRACTICE: 'ORDINATION --- ELITES'
--->> Prima Donnas (eg. FWBoreham)



BBC - 60 small groups, collegial pastoral team. 



-->> (So I didn't turn up at any graduation seminary - I was actually in the U.S. when Fuller's was on).  

BOOK (UC): Your Church Can Come Alive: nobody has passed yet. 


(TURN  OFF RECORDING)  ST MARTINS: * Report: 'Speak truth in love'. 
* Collegial ministry team (not led by an apostle)
Ministry team 2014: how much $$? Divide it equally according  to agreed ministry description and hours worked. No hierarchies...  
St M. Elders: Story of BBC elders --- hospital with dying lady/daughter


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