We do not need more "business savvy" Pastors. And seminaries should continue to disappoint people who are looking for business training.
If we continue to train Pastors to think like CEO's with business "savvy," where manipulating systems, "navigating" institutions, and leveraging people's spirits for our own (or even "God's") ends is not only permitted but encouraged, then we can be assured that we're not training them to be ministers. We are, in fact, omitting that which makes them ministers (relationship in participation with Christ) and replacing it with the kind of anxious, narcissistic, and instrumentalizing behavior that has been ripping the church apart since it first married itself to capitalism. A church which privileges its own existence and measures itself according to its expediency and effectiveness will always have people who hunger for control as its leaders (and "leadership" will be its primary metaphor for pastoral identity). This might sound familiar because it isn't new. A church which loves its own development and seeks to extend its territory and expand its walls will always produce refugees. But ministry should not create refugees but is to be with and for the refugees of development--those who suffer under the tyranny of others' success. When it comes to the church of the crucified Christ, self preservation, efficiency in development, and conquest of influence are only temptation and never virtue.
May we never let success or relevance or influence be our driving motivation. And may we always settle for being present and loving to those who cannot contribute to our success or even our survival. May we find our relevance in our love for the least of these and not in the outcome of our business strategy.
I cannot tell you how much I love this post!
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