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Joel Comiskey Group
Resourcing the Worldwide Cell Church 
October 2015 Newsletter

Pastoring the Pastors

The late Lyle E. Schaller was famous for analyzing and consulting churches. One analogy he invented to describe local church pastors was the Rancher / Shepherd comparison.
A ranch is a type of farm that raises livestock such as cattle or sheep for meat or wool. The head of a ranch is the rancher, who also employs shepherds to watch over the sheep. Both the shepherd and the rancher care for the sheep; the difference is that the rancher prioritizes the shepherds who do the actual sheep caring. 

Effective cell churches care for the pastors (coach the cell leaders). They avoid creating a dependency on themselves by developing cell groups leaders and cell coaches who minister to the sheep. In this way, the church can continue to expand because growth is not dependent on one leader, the local church pastor.

The role of the local church pastor in today's cell church is to multiply himself in the lives of those who are leading cell groups. Sadly many pastor fall into the trap of solo pastor, doing it all themselves. Solo pastors manifest these characteristics:  

  • Tries to personally satisfy all of the needs.
  • Believes that he is responsible for everything.
  • Participates in every meeting.
  • Depends on the compliments of others.
  • Does not delegate much.
  • Vision is limited by what he can do.
  • Sees the congregation as individuals and not as groups of people

Effective cell church pastors, on the other hand, refuse to pastor everyone individually. When someone comes for counseling to the rancher-type pastor, the  first question is, "have you talked to your cell leader?" Effective cell church pastors: 

  • Resource and serve the cell leaders who care for the church.
  • Develop supervisors / coaches to help in the pastoring process.
  • Delegate to leaders and then give them flexibility. 
  • Desires that the people are free from dependence on the one pastor.
  • Prioritizes the team meeting where he ministers to the coaches/supervisors, making sure that the leaders are being coached. 

In the month of October, we'll be exploring the topic of pastoring the pastors. Key leaders will blog on this topic, sharing their convictions and experiences. If you'd like to receive these blogs in your email inbox each day, please sign up  HERE. Here are some of the topics we will cover: 

  • Week 1 (October 04-10); The biblical base. Ephesians 4 says that the role of leaders  is to develop the laity to do the work of the ministry. Team ministry is the biblical norm for leadership in the New Testament. 
  • Week 2 (October 11-17); Characteristics of effective rancher-like pastors. They pastor through caring for the cell leaders. They first ask the sheep if they have talked to their cell leader.  
  • Week 3 (October 18-24) Specifics on team ministry. We'll talk about the need for a local church pastor to meet with cell leaders (or supervisors) to talk about the health of the cells. The temptation is to rush to fix the immediate (what happened in the celebration service). 
  • Week 4: (October 25-October 31). Specifics on building teams within the cell. The same principles apply to cell leaders. Effective cell leaders develop a team and refuse to do everything in the cell. They develop those who minister to the cell members. 

What has your experience been in this area? Are you pastoring the pastors? Please feel free to comment here.


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