I am reading (and recommending) a great book by Aubrey Malphurs called “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders.” I know, the title sounds boring, but it is potent stuff with tangible steps that help churches find their blind-spots and take real steps to make changes. Among other things, I was struck by a quote concerning seminary curriculum, here is what Aubrey Malphurs writes about changing the way we develop leaders:
Most training equips pastors for one hour on Sunday morning but ignores the other forty-plus hours of the week that demand such things as leadership gifts and abilities, people skills, and strategic thinking and doing…pastoring is a leadership-intensive enterprise…A scan of the typical seminary curriculum would reveal that far too many are not aware of what is taking place in North American culture and its impact on the typical church. Though many seminaries and Christian colleges have begun to use the new technology, the are typically business as usual when it comes to curriculum. My view is that the problem is not what evangelical seminaries teach but what they do not teach. Many evangelical seminaries teach the Bible and theology, and it is imperative that they do so. However, they often do not provide strong training in leadership, people skills, and strategic-thinking skills, and this is poor preparation for ministry in today’s shrinking world, which is undergoing intense, convoluted change.
Don’t be fooled by the cover of this book, it’s a powerful tool for churches seeking renewal in the Church today. Let’s review the way we train and strengthen leader-navigators in the ELCIC.