Dallas Willard – Why Pastors are Leaving

Dallas Willard, a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California made a lot of sense to me when he recently said;

I do grieve for the people within the church who are suffering—especially the pastors and their families. They are suffering because much of North America and Europe has bought into a version of Christianity that does not include life in the kingdom of God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

They are trying to work a system that doesn’t work.

Without transformation within the church, pastors are the ones who get beat up. That is why there is a constant flood of them out of the pastorate. But they are not the only ones. New people are entering the church, but a lot are also leaving. Disappointed Christians fill the landscape because we’ve not taken discipleship seriously.

Asked “What can pastors do to change this dynamic?” he replied;

Change their definition of success. They need to have a vision of success rooted in spiritual terms, determined by the vitality of a pastor’s own spiritual life and his capacity to pass that on to others.

When pastors don’t have rich spiritual lives with Christ, they become victimized by other models of success—models conveyed to them by their training, by their experience in the church, or just by our culture. They begin to think their job is managing a set of ministry activities and success is about getting more people to engage those activities. Pastors, and those they lead, need to be set free from that belief.

The entire article is on the awesome blog Out of Ur.

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