A film analogy for pastoral leadership

Next Reformation blog shares an interesting analogy for pastoral leadership from Reg McNeal’s  Missional Renaissance that compares contemporary ministers to film producers whereas in the past ministers were movie directors.

Quotes are pulled from McNeal:

“Hollywood Directors are project managers. The work with all phases and components of filmmaking to produce a movie. … Very little happens without the director’s attention.

“Producers play a different role. They find great stories, recruit talent, raise capital, negotiate with studios, and hire directors to bring ideas to life.

Directors,  aren’t bad, the post/book says, but this ministerial role limits the reach of the church.  Yes – and No.  McNeal’s analogy seems (and I confess to not having read his book yet) to over look the dynamics of church size to ministry.  In smaller churches, ministers are involved in everything out of necessity, yet as a church grows, out of a family size church (5o active members / Sunday attendance or less) into a pastoral size church (50-150) and then into a program (150-500) and corporate size church (500+), it will only do so by having a “producer” ministry that finds “directors” to help bring ideas and various areas and parts of a congregation’s work and mission to life.

So, it’s circular in a sense.  The ministerial role limits the reach of the church, but the size of the church usually has attendant internal dynamics that limits (in the sense of setting boundaries) the ministerial role.  A classic chicken or the egg situation.

2 thoughts on “A film analogy for pastoral leadership

  1. I would question the root assumption here, that in small churches leaders have their fingers in everything. Not true in our small church (group core of 40). We share leadership among a circle of six at the center of the core, and then wider out to about 15. To me this is an issue of setting culture. If we don’t work it this way at small growing stage, we will quickly establish one more centralized system where 10% do everything and 90% are passive.

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