There is a shift of mindset – a mindshift, if you will – going on today when it comes to how pastors view their role and their congregations. In the past most pastors looked for volunteers who they could convince to fill some committee or ministry slot in the church.  The result is that 80% of the people did 20% of the work. The pastor viewed these people as volunteers who had to be treated with kid gloves because they were donating their time. They also viewed the volunteers as followers instead of potential new leaders. So it was only natural for pastors to wake up in the morning with a long to-do list and asking, “What must I do today to be effective?”

Mobilization Mindshift

Over the past decade or two all of that has changed. Pastors are actually beginning to read the Bible from a New Testament viewpoint, and that is changing everything.

Today, pastors see themselves as scouts and coaches more than pastors who care for people. They seek to match people to a ministry in or outside the church. They see everyone as missionaries and potential leaders. Instead of a to-do list, they have a “to-be” list of servants they are coaching to be future leaders. They hold these servants to the same standard as leaders as if they were paid. The only difference is the amount of time they are asked to invest. They wake up wondering who God will send their way to equip.

Instead of trying to fill slots within the church, they develop some kind of farm system where they systematically raise up new leaders. The result is the 80% of the people are involved in ministry.

The shift looks something like this:

The Past                                                            Today

  1. 80% do 20% of the work                          Every person a missionary
  2. Fill slots in church                                     Match people to a ministry anywhere
  3. Leaders and followers                               Everyone can be a leader
  4. Hire from without                                      Hire from within
  5. Volunteers                                                   Servants
  6. To-do list                                                     To-be list
  7. What must I do today                               Who will I equip today
  8. Fill committees                                           Farm system
  9. Pastor                                                           Scout and Coach

Over the past decade more and more of our ministry at 21st Century Strategies has shifted toward coaching leaders to make the mindshifts needed to navigate the 21st century.

Question: Which side of the picture best represents your church and what changes might you need to make in order to be faithful and fruitful? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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Bill Easum