Article #71

Catalyzing a Pastoring of Pastors Movement

Pastors should be leading movements.  As with other things they should be doing, they don’t have much chance to fulfill their calling because no one is leading them, no one is pastoring them.  Hopefully the thoughts that follow will help those who lead pastors to begin thinking more in terms of movement.  And hopefully pastors will be able to apply the principles and keys introduced here to bring a Spirit-led movement into their churches.

 

A biblical base for the subject of movement and organization can be drawn from Ezekiel 47.1-12.  Summarizing some thoughts in a simple way:

1.     There comes a time that we need to move from being building-centered to river-centered, organization-centered to movement centered.

2.     God invites those who have been building-centered (organization-centered) to enter the river (movement).  He later invites those who are caught up in the river (movement), to step out of the river to gain a broader perspective of all he is doing.

3.     The river (movement) is pointedly measurable.

4.     Movement is life-giving, starting with the prophet (pastor) and going on to all those who live in the movement and all those who border the movement.

 

Let me introduce three topics:

1.     The difference between a movement and an organization

2.     Keys to maintaining a pastoring of pastors movement (most of them applicable to any movement)

3.     Levels and stages of movements

 

I am hoping to not just share concepts, but rather to stimulate and encourage you to active participation in a Spirit-inspired movement, be it in your local church or beyond in something like a pastoring of pastors movement.

 

1. The Difference between a Movement and Organization

In and introductory and preliminary way, let me offer these definitions.  A movement is a wave of change, affecting values, vision and lifestyles, which grows and gains expression far beyond the influence or control of the originating person or source.  An organization is a structure that controls and directs a vision through leadership, policies, material and specific forms. 

Examples of movements: Almost every denomination began as a movement.  Normally, they are brought to life through an extraordinary leader.  There are also mega-movements, which reach multiple organizations.  Examples include the discipleship movement led by Charles Simpson, Derek Prince, Ern Baxter and company in the seventies, the base Christian communities and the movement of churches toward community (small groups and discipleship) in Latin America in the eighties and the cell church movement at the end of the nineties.  Other examples include the charismatic movement, the rock music movement, the contemporary worship and prayer movements.  In these examples, movement transcends specific organizations, being expressed in a great diversity of organizations.

The relationship between movement and organization: The two can be likened to wine (movement) and wineskins (organization).  An organization rarely births a movement.  A movement, on the other hand, normally creates or affects many organizations.  If it does not do so, it remains an inspirational vision without real power or lasting effect.  At the same time, when it does take concrete shape within an organization, it becomes difficult to maintain the original vitality. 

Movement and organization are mortal enemies.  They naturally, without even trying, undermine and destroy each other.

Amazingly enough, movements and organizations need each other; each of them will normally die without the other.  A movement without any organizations is sheer idealism, unrealistic utopia and will not last.  Organizations without movements have no life.  A church lives the tension between the two all the time, most commonly leaning heavily toward the organizational side and sacrificing the move of God’s Spirit. 

We need to turn the natural destructive tension between movement and organization into a creative tension.  The following chart illustrates these tensions.

 
Movements
Organizations

Leadership

A leader whose authority flows from a powerful vision, his authenticity and conviction and/or his charismatic personality.[1]

A leader whose authority flows from his hierarchical or organizational position.

Decisions

There is great freedom of decision.

The power of decision is in the hands of the leader or a select group.

Control

There is little quality control; everything is open and loose, facilitating creativity and spontaneity.

Has quality control, restricting creativity and spontaneity.

Structure

Focuses on the vision and values, without defining structures.

Defines structures.

Mentality

A mentality of sowing, leaving the results in God’s hands.

A mentality of sowing and following up, assuring that results are confirmed.

Forms

Inspirational, motivational without specific forms or practices.

Defined practices, norms and forms.

Material

Not limited to defined material.

Defined material

 

“If the driving force of any movement is not Jesus Christ, we are creating castles in the air” - Frank Viola

 

Of what has been presented so far, what catches your attention?

 

 

 


 

2. Keys to Maintaining a Pastoring of Pastors Movement

These keys are separated into three areas:

  1. Being a truly healthy movement
  2. Having an organization that helps maintain the movement
  3. Having facilitator leaders that cause the movement and organization to flow

All three of these areas are critical both for the local church and for an extra-local pastoring of pastors network (POPNet) or movement.  In fact, everything that is truly worthwhile for pastoring of pastors should find an expression in the pastoring of leaders in the local church.  While some of the qualities below are expressed more specifically with a POPNet movement in mind, all of them can be adapted for other types of movements.

Below we list qualities and characteristics that are important in each area and ask that you evaluate how well your reality corresponds.  This will work even better if a leadership team of a church or organization does this exercise together.

 

1. Characteristics of a Healthy Movement

Evaluate the health and strength of the movement in your context, giving it a score between 0 and 10 in the following areas:

____ 1. Anointing – I see a special anointing in my leaders, the leaders of the movement, an anointing that reaches and strengthens me. 

____ 2. Vision – the movement has a clear, simple and motivating vision.

____ 3. Values – the movement has clear values that excite me.

____ 4. Leadership – the movement has a leader that sounds the trumpet, motivating people and calling them to action. 

____ 5. Team – the leader has a team that is attractive, full of grace and provides a model for the pastors to adapt to their local church settings.

____ 6. Hearing God characterizes the movement, in both large and small meetings.

____ 7. Creativity is encouraged, flowing from what the Spirit is doing and the importance of committed, healthy relationships

____ 8. Transparency and authenticity characterize the leaders of the movement.

____ 9. Decisions – each person in the movement understands that they are responsible for their own lives and for making a commitment to a few other people for pastoral care and mentoring, not blaming a certain organization, structure or tradition for their own lack of living out the vision and values of pastoring of pastors. 

____ 10. Restoration – there is an expression of pastoring of pastors that goes beyond preventative care, reaching out to exhausted, stressed pastors and spouses with significant relational problems or moral failings. 

If you are approaching this as a group, indicate your scores below.

 

10 signs of a healthy movement

Scores 9-10

Scores 7-8

Scores 5-6

Scores 4 and below

1. Anointed leaders

 

 

 

 

2. Vision – clear, simple and motivating

 

 

 

 

3. Values – that permeate everything

 

 

 

 

4. Leadership – with a motivating trumpet call

 

 

 

 

5. Team – attractive model, full of grace

 

 

 

 

6. Hearing God – common practice

 

 

 

 

7. Creativity – Spirit-led, focusing relationships

 

 

 

 

8. Transparency and authenticity

 

 

 

 

9. Decisions – each one being responsible

 

 

 

 

10. Restoration – healing, not just prevention

 

 

 

 

List implications and applications on a separate sheet of paper.

 

 

2. Characteristics of an Organization that Helps Maintain the Movement

Evaluate the health and strength of the organizational strength and flexibility of the movement in your context, giving it a score between 0 and 10 in the following areas:

____ 1. Simplicity of the DNA – the DNA of a small pastoring group is clear and simple, obtainable by anyone who wants to participate. 

____ 2. POP small groups have competent facilitators who understand and perform their role well. 

____ 3. POP facilitators have competent mentor/supporters that understand and perform their role well.

____ 4. Mentor/supporters have competent coordinators that understand and perform their role well.

____ 5. Coordinators participate in the POPNet leadership team or are supported and cared for by someone on this team, in a way that allows them to be a success in their role. 

____ 6. High quality material is used well in the POPNet groups, allowing flexibility for other materials.

____ 7. A written facilitator profile helps maintain the quality of this role.

____ 8. Facilitators and mentor/supporters meet for orientation, training and help in evaluating and exercising their role.

____ 9. Follow-up (and the 10/90 rule[2]) characterizes the movement and the small and large group meetings.  The lives and ministry of the participants are aligned with the values and focus of the meetings, both in small and large groups.

____ 10. The problems of overload and lack of time are faced directly and practically, helping pastors and their leaders understand and practice a simple life and a calendar oriented by divine priorities. 

If you are approaching this as a group, indicate your scores below.

 

10 organizational qualities

Scores 9-10

Scores 7-8

Scores 5-6

Scores 4 and below

1. Simplicity of the DNA of a PofP small group

 

 

 

 

2. Competent facilitators

 

 

 

 

3. Competent mentor/supporters

 

 

 

 

4. Competent coordinators

 

 

 

 

5. Coordinators well-connected to the leadership team

 

 

 

 

6. High quality material that is not imposed

 

 

 

 

7. Facilitator profile that helps maintain quality

 

 

 

 

8. Effective meetings for facilitators and mentor/supporters

 

 

 

 

9. Follow-up, aligning lives with teaching

 

 

 

 

10. Facing the problem of overload

 

 

 

 

List implications and applications on a separate sheet of paper.

 

3. Characteristics of Leader-Facilitators that Make Movement and Organization Flow

When all is said and done the above twenty characteristics depend on people.  Here we clarify the profile of the kinds of leader-facilitators that make movement and organization flow, be it at the level of a POPNet group or any other level.

 

____ 1. Anointing – I experience anointing in my preparation and participation in the POP group.

____ 2. Vision – I have a POP vision that motivates and excites me.

____ 3. Values – I know and am committed to the values of the POP movement.

____ 4. Facilitator – I help others feel comfortable sharing while helping them deepen their perspectives in order to grow.

____ 5. Transparency and authenticity – I share my heart in appropriate ways, especially as regards my weaknesses and challenges.  .  My example helps others open up.

____ 6. Hunger and thirst for God – I am growing, motivated to know Christ more deeply and become more like him.

____ 7. Teachable – I want to learn, ask others to help me and seek counsel and mentoring, being grateful for accountability.  Through my example, I encourage a culture of self-evaluation.

____ 8. Mentor in the group – I understand various mentoring models well and use them enough to be comfortable with them.  I help others in my group grow in their ability to mentor each other.

____ 9. Mentoring outside the group – I have a mentor and take the initiative to schedule meetings with this person, preparing well beforehand and following up seriously. 

____ 10. I am encouraged in my leadership role by a leader that cares about me and with whom I have a good relationship and communication.  He/she demonstrates the qualities that I need to practice with my group.

If you are approaching this as a group, indicate your scores below.

 

Facilitator Profile

Scores 9-10

Scores 7-8

Scores 5-6

Scores 4 and below

1. Anointing in their preparation and participation in the group

 

 

 

 

2. Motivating POP vision

 

 

 

 

3. Values – committed to the POP values

 

 

 

 

4. Facilitator – encourages good participation

 

 

 

 

5. Transparent and authentic, opens up

 

 

 

 

6. Hunger and thirst for God, growing

 

 

 

 

7. Teachable, open, not resistent

 

 

 

 

8. Mentor in the group, using various models

 

 

 

 

9. Mentored outside the group, proactive

 

 

 

 

10. Well-assisted by an exemplary leader

 

 

 

 

             

List implications and applications on a separate sheet of paper.

 


 

Levels and Stages in a Mentoring Movement

Can or should there be measurable indicators of a movement?  When can we say that a movement has begun?  How can we know where to invest time, energy or other resources to enable a movement?  How can we know when a region, denomination or country has a firmly established movement?  We attempt to respond in an initial way to these questions below.

Normally, it helps to have measurable indicators of what ministry is occurring.  They help us know where we are in the process, where we need to go and when we can say that we have arrived.  This is true also of a national mentoring movement.  What follows is an initial attempt at identifying such indicators and key steps to improve them.

The rather objective and straightforward ideas that follow are in creative tension with the mushiness and messiness of a movement.  If the creative tension is not maintained, we will have wine (vision and values) without wineskin (forms, practices and structure) or vice-versa.  Both are needed, even though each naturally threatens the other.  We need to develop wineskins that will enable the wine not to be lost.

1. Levels in a Mentoring Movement

Allow me to suggest that the heart of a vision of Biblical movements is the local church.  We see the church prioritized in the lives of the Biblical apostles after Christ’s ascension.  Before leaving, Christ himself promised to build his church.  While the Kingdom of God is broader than the church, the church continues to be far and away the most complete expression of God’s Kingdom here and now.  If the mentoring movement within God’s Kingdom does not substantially affect the pastors and leaders of local churches, it is probably not a movement that will last.

A mentoring movement can be tested in the “fishbowl” of the local church.  This relatively small context demonstrates its validity and strength and the value of it being reproduced and extended.  If it is valuable, as it flourishes it will naturally become contagious and reach other pastors and churches.  As the movement grows to each new level, its growth should be reflected in the numbers of pastors and churches joining the movement.

1.     The local church: if at least three circles of people are committed to mentoring, the mentoring movement has begun.  This includes both horizontal (reciprocal or mutual) mentoring and vertical mentoring.  If 10% or more of the church are practicing mentoring, the movement is established in that church.[3]  When all is said and done, the “proof of the pudding” is what is happening in the local churches.

2.     The city or denomination: the movement moves beyond the local church to affect a network of pastors or churches in a city.  When it spreads to at least three city-wide networks, the movement has begun to reach the city.  When at least 10% of the pastors and churches of the city are involved, we can say that the movement is established.  It has reached the “tipping point” where it is likely to continue growing.  The same can be said of a denomination.  When at least 10% of the pastors of a denomination are involved, the movement is established.

3.     The state: when three of the most influential cities in the state each have at least three networks of pastors who are mentoring key leaders in their churches, the movement has begun to reach the state.  Again, when at least 10% of the pastors and churches in the state are involved, the movement is established.

4.     The region: a grouping of three or more state-wide networks in a region.

5.     The nation: the movement has begun to reach the nation when at least 10% of the pastors in the country experience a minimal level of mentoring.  This normally flows from the efforts of three or more regional networks or denominations.  A nation-wide movement is established when 10% of the pastors in the country participate in it.

Although this vision is based in the local church, it can be developed simultaneously at all five levels, each level being synergistic with the other levels.  Strategies for developing a movement beyond the local church include:

1.     A mentoring clinic for reaching pastors and leaders.  Target group: pastors and their 4-6 key leaders.  Result of such clinics: pastoring pastors groups in which the vision, value and practice of mentoring are cultivated and extended.

2.     City and state-wide consultations for denominational leaders and leaders of pastors’ councils and associations.  Target group: pastors and leaders who are responsible for overseeing or caring for fifty or more pastors.  Result of such consultations: seed sowing; possibly initiating mentoring groups among this level of national leadership and adapting mentoring clinics or training to each of their contexts.

3.     National (and international) consultations of denominational leaders and others who strongly influence pastors.  Target group: pastors and leaders who are responsible for overseeing or caring for hundreds of pastors.  The result of these consultations would be the same as that of city and state-wide consultations: seed sowing, possibly initiating mentoring groups among these leaders; adapting known strategies and methods for passing on the vision, values and practice to their denominations, organizations or networks.

 

2. Expanding Spheres in a Mentoring Movement

In each of the above levels, we can identify four expanding spheres that begin with 1) a leader and spread to 2) a leadership team, 3) a broader leadership group and finally reach a large part, if not the majority, of 4) the wider target group.  These spheres are visible in the local church as well as at the city, state, regional and national levels.

1.     Leader: A key catalytic and influential leader gains the vision and practice and becomes committed to mentoring and being mentored.  In the local church, the best person for this role is normally the pastor.

2.     Team: This leader mentors a team who gains the same vision and practice.  In the local church, this might be the pastoral team.

3.     Leadership group: This team mentors a broader circle of leaders who in turn mentor the next level of leadership.  In the local church, this could be the pastoral team mentoring leaders who mentor leaders (Eph 4.11-12; 2 Tm 2.2).

4.     Wider target group: the entire leadership helps to mentor, pastor or shepherd the members of the target group.  In a local church, this will be all church members and will normally occur through ministry teams and small house groups.  If these groups break into stable sub-groups of about 4 people every week, relational shepherding will permeate the whole church (Eph 4.13-16). 

3. Stages of Transition or Change

Literature about change has identified five stages that people go through in adopting new habits or ideas. 

1.     Pre-contemplation: when a person or group has not even thought about changing.

2.     Contemplation: the group/individual begins to think about changing and passes through some initial new experiences.

3.     Preparation: the group/individual plans change in their lives.

4.     Action: the group/individual actively and systematically implements change.

5.     Maintenance: once a change has been successfully instituted and incorporated, maintaining the new pattern (and avoiding returning to the old) takes work.

These five stages will occur in each of the four spheres indicated above.  A leader will go through them and then, if he/she is wise, will draw his leadership team into them.  Together they will develop a strategy that reflects these stages as they pass on the vision, values and practice to the over-all leadership and with their help reach out to the final sphere, which includes all the members of the target group.

While the above may seem technical or theoretical, it communicates a number of important truths.  Firstly, a movement requires one or more dedicated leaders who will work long-term with specific target groups to implement the new vision and values.  It takes considerable energy and time to develop a movement, usually requiring synergistic efforts coming from multiple sources. 

Secondly, as we pointed out at various moments, movements and organizations are somewhat antithetical and yet need each other if either of them is to survive in a healthy way.  Creative tension is indispensable. 

Lastly, the above complexity should make us realize that we are lost unless we continually walk in the simplicity of Christ and the anointing of His Spirit.  They are the source of the new and renewed wine without which the wineskins become barren, harmful representatives of something which once had life, but now inhibits and works against that very life.

 

In conclusion, and moving toward application:

1. What are some personal priorities for you in the light of this article?

 

 

2. What are some priorities for the movement of which you are a part?

 


 

[1] A mega movement has multiple parallel leaders, each one leading his/her own expression or organization.  In this way it surpasses a single expression or specific locale.  Some of these leaders may be strong on the movement side; others may be stronger on the organizational side.  A strong charismatic leader can lead a movement with strong organizational characteristics.  In that case, when he dies or leaves, usually the sense of movement will disappear.  His work will normally die, fragment or continue as a bureaucratic organization without a sense of movement.

[2] The 10/90 rule, the iceberg rule, is that only 10% of the impact of a meeting or event happens in the event.  The other 90% happens in the preparation and follow-up.

[3] Twenty percent might be a better parameter.  With 10 percent, the movement is established.  With 15-20 percent it is very firmly in place.

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