What Kind?

Bishop Will Willimon passes along some good questions from Lloyd John Ogilvie:

  1. What sort of people does Christ want to deploy in the world?
  2. What sort of church do we need to produce those people?
  3. What sort of leaders do we need to produce that sort of church?
  4. What sort of pastor do I need to be to produce that sort of leaders in that sort of church?

First, I like the teleological approach. We’re going somewhere. We have ends in sight.

Second, these are complex ends. My telos as a pastor doesn’t end with me. It is connected with the teloi of leaders, the church and its people.

Third, I can ask these questions wherever I am in relation to those ends, wherever I am situated in time and space (as long as I ecclesially located). When I first become a pastor of a given church, I can ask these questions. When I’ve been at a church for X years, I can still ask these questions. They will never be outmoded.

Fourth, my asking these questions is not a solo activity. While I have some insight into what kind of pastor I need to be to to produce a particular kind of leader to produce a particular kind of church that produces a particular kind of people, so do the people around me. I am not sitting at the top of the heap commanding all around me.

Fifth, and this aspect appeals to my personality type, these are general questions. They are not tied to any particular church model or program structure. As people questions, they are framed to prioritize people over structures, opening the way to flexibility in methodology.

Finally, the questions begin and end with Jesus. We pursue what Jesus wants. We want to achieve his purposes his way. What will it take to make us those kind of people?

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