Thursday, December 10, 2020

“What matters is the size of the pastor’s ego”

From a review of a new book about the qualities of a healthy church:
For a church to be a place where the truth is proclaimed, it must be a church that pursues justice rather than loyalty to the leader. Too many pastors have placed a premium on loyalty, but a church pursuing a goodness culture “will be filled with courageous people who do the right thing,” people who aren’t afraid to take hits and go against their leaders. A church where a goodness culture prevails is also a church oriented around service rather than celebrity. Rather than focusing on leadership it is a church that cultivates followers of Christ—a Christ who, in the words of the apostle Paul, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

Lest the focus on Bill Hybels or James MacDonald or, as of this past week, Carl Lentz, mislead readers, Barringer and McKnight make clear that neither the size nor the prominence of the church makes a difference in this equation. “What matters is the size of the pastor’s ego.” But this isn’t just a problem of outsized egos. The crisis pertains to an entire religious culture. ....
Confronting Toxic Christianity

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