Many people define pastoral leadership in terms of business liking the pastor to the CEO and the elders as the executive team. Is this right to do so? Yes and no but mainly no. What do I mean?
Yes, there are certain similarities in a CEO and a pastor. They lead the whole thing and are paid to do so. Yes, there are certain similarities in elders and the lead executive committee in a fortune 500 company. They lead alongside the CEO and pastor, and while the executives are paid to do so, elders are not usually. The similarities end here, and to go further is to go into dangerous waters.
No, we should not make correlations between these parties at all. Why? As pastors, as elders, brothers we are not professionals. Hear me say what I am saying here. We are not to be the “professional Christians” among our churches, as if we are the only ones who are given the time and money to do our Christian living. We are paid to pray, study, live godly lives, share the gospel at home and abroad, etc. John Piper says this best in his devotional, “Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.” Here is the main summary:
We are fools for Christ’s sake. But professionals are wise. We are weak. But professionals are strong. Professionals are held in honor. We are in disrepute. We do not try to secure a professional lifestyle, but we are ready to hunger and thirst and be ill-clad and homeless. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things. Or have we?
CEO’s and their leadership teams rule and govern with much pride, we pastors and elders lead by serving. How many CEO’s serve those around them? I’m sure there are some who do, but it is not the norm. Who showed us the difference here between these two types of leadership? Jesus. Remember He came “to serve and not to be served.”
Brothers, imitate your Lord. We are not professionals.