Pastor as CEO vs. Priesthood of all believers – Continued!

Continuing on the Pastors Discussion group that I posted in my earlier blog post on Pastor as CEO vs. Priesthood of all believers, I commented the following:

The most important thing is that we continue to look to Scriptures as our model in living out God’s Kingdom. By the world’s wisdom, Samuel had seven way better options to choose as the next king of Israel. And Jesus didn’t invest much time with key leadership potential individuals like Nicodemus but gathered a group of “untrained ruffians”. Jesus himself was the stone that the builders rejected. So much of Scripture is antithetical to the world’s wisdom. But we still try to figure out a way to be a hybrid version of the world’s wisdom and God’s. We also love the top-down leadership idea because it’s all about control and we want that. A comment on my earlier blog from my friend Kyu, “I think throughout the Bible God generally tries to close the gap and men seek an intermediary instead of a direct line, mostly for their own convenience. That’s kind of what idolatry is, isn’t it?” Commenting on this in context of the dichotomy between clergy and laity, I responded, “I think it’s also laziness (which may be a key component of idolatry) – keeping up the dichotomy allows us to be a part of the church at our own convenience as consumers as opposed to full partakers and participants in the body of Christ.”

All of this above and here below is why I react so negatively to even putting the phrase CEO in the same sentence as shepherd (pastor).

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:8-12)

Or can we substitute Chief Executive Officer or even the way we use Pastor today in there??

The Pharisees lorded authority over others. Let it never be with us! Humility is our key defining leadership characteristic.

I think all of this is key to the problem with our churches in the West today. Are we consumers of church or are we the church? And not just participants or members, but fully partakers in the full life of the body of believers we are a part of? Daily living, breaking bread with, confessing sins, praying, suffering, rejoicing, serving, loving… Thoughts?


About howie snyder

Love Jesus, love my family, love meeting new people and sharing life with them!
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4 Responses to Pastor as CEO vs. Priesthood of all believers – Continued!

  1. Howard Snyder says:


    Those are some of the points I make in *Wineskins,* esp. the chapter on pastors as superstars.

    Love you!


    On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 6:11 AM, Howie’s Blog


  2. Nancy Ragatz says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you describe a majority (probably) of us as consumers, attending and participating in church at our convenience–just like we do most everything else! We don’t want sacrifice of our time, energy, talents, money–you name it! We also want to be spoon-fed. I commend you of the younger generation in truly seeking out what it means to be a Christian and how best to deverlop the church as God would want it to be. I believe this is the only way you will reach the lost of today’s world. They are turned off by our traditional churches and their hierachy.


    • howie snyder says:

      Yes, I agree. The challenge is to try and develop something that they want to be part of, that challenges them to be a co-partaker in something more, something greater than, something that they have ownership in, something that is radical! I believe it has to happen by giving them permission and trusting them to create and develop new ideas and ministries on their own. Most hierarchical models are developed to suppress this. I worked in a church once where this young woman was all excited about developing a new ministry in the church and she went to meet with the pastor and met with him for over two hours in which afterwards she felt so dispirited about the need for top-down control to take over that she abandoned the whole idea. The pastor had such a positive take after his meeting with her – he had no idea he totally crushed her excitement and spirit. Actually this exact same type of thing has happened to my wife on several occasions.

      I heard a speaker once share about how he has a holy discontent about how his generation (Baby Boomers) is hoarding authority over successive generations – it brought him to quit his job working for a seminary. And then I hear amazing stories from Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne and others about young people in their churches doing some amazing, dangerous and crazy things, that actually sound a lot like Jesus. Such as going on short-term missions trips and not coming back; or moving in with homeless people in an abandoned building. Lord, let us not be hindered by the world’s standards of sensibilities and our own desire for control and authority.


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