What Church Experts Won’t Say About Pastoral Leadership

When the experts blog, podcast, or show up at your door, there are some things they simply won’t tell you about pastoral leadership.

pastoral leadership

5. Innovation is NOT in the extremes.

Again, it might be that you need a complete overhaul of your church. If nothing has changed in 20 years it is probably time. I love to talk about church revitalization and often major changes are needed. But sometimes what has worked in the past can work again. What you need is a little more energy behind it and perhaps some new ways to celebrate it.

In church revitalization, one of my favorite encouragements was to “rediscover don’t reinvent”. Everything may not be broken. 

6. They don’t have a magic potion.

No person does. That would be the voice of the Holy Spirit in your ear. If you hear that, run with it – fast and hard. Yet, if you have led in the church for long you know God often allows us to wrestle through situations. I believe it is how He builds our character, keeps us on our knees and allows us to develop principles through pain that can help others. (2 Corinthians 1) 

7. They are an opinion.

Having served many years in the business world let me tell you the same is true of auditors or attorneys. For that matter, it is true for church members too. Don’t assume because “Expert So and So” predicts something that this is the way it will always be. It could be. Certainly it is worth considering and filtering for context. But it isn’t the “Gospel truth”. It is their educated opinion – which might or might not be correct. 

One reason I like to have an active role in a local church is so I stay relevant to the work actually being done. Another leadership saying of mine is “You can’t see what I see until you sit where I sit“. I believe that is so true of pastoring a local church these days. Context is everything, so experts won’t tell you what they simply don’t know.

I intend this post as an encouragement to my fellow pastors. It is not meant to downplay the great work the outside thinkers, consultants and voices are providing – many whom are my friends. We need them and we need to listen to them. But we need to use them as a source of information – not the one-and-only source of information. 

Nate and I have launch a new season of the Ron Edmondson Leadership Podcast soon. Subscribe now so you don’t miss the next one.


This article on pastoral leadership originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

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Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping church grow vocationally for over 10 years.