Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Human Motivation and Ministry Application

This video illuminated my understanding of call to be a "redeveloper" in a struggling congregation. Several leaders I know thought I might want to be an administrator/senior pastor/larger congregation pastor. 
In my observation, many congregations in Mainline/Oldline Protestant circles operate like religious factories, and the pastors are set up to serve as mere cogs in those machines. In 10 years of interim ministry and consulting I saw congregations that wanted their pastors to be cogs in their religious machines over and over and over again. After serving in a few large budget congregations with some nice perks, I discovered I wanted no part of that culture. The job description was oppressive, and sometimes I found myself working for the proverbial weekend (be patient for the music). I have taken a call to serve in a congregation where I am paid half-time and work 3/4 to full-time, and I couldn't be happier with my work. There's purpose and freedom in the congregation I serve. There's still accountability and connectedness--I wouldn't be able to serve St. John's if it wasn't for my wife and her full-time call. I don't have to worry about several details because I have three trustees from sister congregations that invest in several management details. Maybe God and my partners in ministry will be able to build something more sustainable in the future. I'm thankful I have the opportunity participate. Salary is not the motivating factor in my work. A creative congregational culture is the primary motivator for me.


  1. I resemble your remarks . . . as I return to the PAC NW (Seaside, OR) to be a missional pastor in redeveloping an ELCA congregation organized in 1947 in a context of a recreational-retirement community suffering from economic recession.
    Rev. Dr. Rob E. Sachs

  2. Glad to have you back in the PNW, Rob! Looking forward to learning what God is up to in Seaside.