I’ve heard that phrase many times as I talk to other Rookie Pastors and those about to enter paid ministry. In fact I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again.
I just want to teach.
But this is what we mean when we say it:
I don’t want to be a youth/childrens/associate pastor.
Don’t make me wait.
I am already a better preacher than most of the people I’ve sat under.
They are doing it wrong.
People will drive from miles to hear me preach.
Of course these are unfounded, wrong, arrogant, and annoying. All the negative qualities that come to mind with a Rookie Pastor are shown perfectly here.
As I mentioned last night Shane Hipps is leaving Mars Hill and in his letter there is an interesting note about their leadership structure. Hipps (or Bell when he was there) was responsible for preaching but leadership of the staff and church as a whole was left to an Executive Director.
Hipps and Bell were only teachers. It appears as though this was their sole or at least primary responsibility.
10 years ago or even 4 years ago I think this would have been an attractive arrangement. Ministry and leadership are communication events and therefore aren’t designed to be segregated.
More so I don’t think I would be enthusiastic about sitting under someone’s teaching that wasn’t leading in some capacity. I am not advocating for one (wo)man shows in which one individual by force of will does it all, leadership should be practiced in community. However to preach in isolation of any leadership feels out of place.
Regardless of how I personally feel this community decided to pursue this and I assume will in some form continue to and while I don’t know of any other churches using a similar model I would bet they aren’t the only one.
My point is not to rail against this leadership culture, but to point out this used to be my dream job. To preach to a large number of people without having to do any other aspect of ministry. Now I can’t imagine thriving in such a situation.
Sometimes we don’t know what we want. In my time I have realized the shallowness or even danger of my dreams and goals. Which means I must allow for the strong likelihood of coming to similar conclusions in the future.
We think we know what we want. We think we understand ministry. We think we are fully ready.
And of course God is growing and developing us along the way.