Issue #8 : A Mindset Every Pastor Must Have
Jimbo Stewart (NAMB, Replanter Development) tells the story of a pastor ready to quit. To encourage the beat-down shepherd, Jimbo took him to lunch.
The pastor spoke about how a power group in the church was making his life miserable, and he decided that he was going to resign. Jimbo asked if he had already made up his mind. The pastor was sure he had. But then he asked the weary pastor this question: “If you’re willing to quit, are you willing to get fired?” “What do you mean?” the pastor asked. “If you leave,” Jimbo explained, “they’re going to run off the next pastor, too. Why don’t you stay and fight for the church?” The pastor hadn’t thought of that. He took Jimbo’s advice, stayed at the church, confronted the power group, and is still there today. And the church is all the better for it.
One of the reasons my revitalization work saw the measure of success it did is that I was 27 years old when I took the job. I was younger and dumber than I am now. I also didn’t make much money. I think the church paid me $27,000 a year. All that to say, I wasn’t afraid to lose my job, and I pastored the church with that mindset. I confronted the toxic power couples. I made tough decisions. I was willing for people to dislike me if it meant doing what was right.
One of the most significant factors that prevent pastors from doing the hard work of making changes is they are afraid of getting fired.
And I understand why. Today, I make more than $27,000 a year. I don’t want to lose my job because, like you, I need to support my family.
But, brothers, we must be willing to lose our jobs if it means standing upon truth and saving the church. I believe every pastor must have this mindset.
If you’re in a hard church—maybe you have a power group or some toxic members trying to run you off—be like the pastor who ate lunch with Jimbo. Don’t quit! Stay and be willing to get fired! I am sure you’re not the first pastor they’ve tried to run off; if you leave, you won’t be the last. Take a stand. What’s the worst that could happen? Lose your job?
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