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A Portrait of Pastoral Leadership

Mike Bradshaw and C.J. are putting out pro C.J., pro Carolyn Mahaney, and pro SGM tributes on the website at a rate never seen before in SGM history.  Mike resigned as a pastor at Covenant Life Church last August.  Need a job?  No problem.  C.J. hired his son-in-law to be his Director of Communications for SGM.  C.J has always been an equal opportunity employer!  I’m sure the Board of Directors reviewed applications from a large number of people and discussed this hire at length!  Mike and Janelle moved to Louisville on June 29, 2012.      

Since then Mike has been hard at work recruiting new church planters for SGM.  He’s trying hard to drum up business in an effort to replace all the churches that will leave in the coming months.  Churches are the cash cow for SGM.  They are expected to give 10% of their income to SGM.  Many churches have stopped giving and so have thousands of individuals throughout the movement.  Revenues have crashed.  People, pastors and churches no longer trust SGM or believe in SGM for good and evident reasons.

On Monday, Mike posted Understanding Sovereign Grace Ministries tool.  Here is an excerpt.

"Understanding Sovereign Grace Ministries is a tool designed as an introduction to the doctrines and practices that characterize Sovereign Grace Ministries.  The nine units include 21 sections that explain our primary beliefs and doctrinal emphases.  The condensed version of the course summarizes each of the nine units in one section.  Each section includes content, recommended resources for study, and application questions.  The sermons and books listed under each section provide the body of teaching that has helped define our family of churches over the years, and contain a wealth of material for further study.  This tool should prove helpful for individuals and ministries who desire to become more oriented toward Sovereign Grace Ministries." 

I’ve pasted part of section 16 on the “Portrait of Pastoral Leadership” below  Of course we know whose portrait comes up when you do a search under this heading.  He’s a skinny guy with squinty eyes and a bald head.  This same individual has lived in flagrant disregard of this portrait and much of its essential content.      

Essential Content: 

(1)    Keeping a close watch on your life and doctrine is the biblical charge to all leaders of the church. 

(2)    1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 present nonnegotiable qualifications for leadership in the church.  Godly character is prominent in these texts. 

(3)    Godly leadership accents humility and servanthood, as well as courage and fear of God.  Leaders are called by God to model godly character. 

(4)    Family life is a key area of character. A pastor’s wife and children are his first leadership obligation. 

(5)    Mutual accountability and transparency on the pastoral team are essential parts of leadership.

(6)    Things that can disqualify a leader in the church include family failure, pride, lack of discipline, and deficient gifting.

(7)    The leader must continue to study and grow in his knowledge of God’s Word, and in his application of it to his life and the lives of others (1 Timothy 4:15).

(8)    Because the pastor is a steward, the measure of successful leadership is faithfulness to God’s Word.

(9)    Pastoral responsibilities to the church include feeding the flock by preaching and teaching God’s Word, leading the flock with discernment, protecting the flock against false teaching and harmful people, caring for the flock, and equipping the flock for works of ministry.

Personal Application Questions:

(1)    Describe the evaluation you have received from others to determine if you meet the character qualifications for eldership in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–9.  What areas are most likely to disqualify you?

(2)    How is a shepherd’s love for God’s people evident in your life?  How can you grow in developing a greater care for people?

(3)    Who are the people in your life that are up to date on your current struggles and challenges?  What sort of things are you most tempted to hide from others for the sake of your reputation?


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