A Baskin-Robbins view of pastors recognizes that pastors come in a variety of flavors. Some flavors work better than others in special situations. You would not serve a brandy laced ice cream to a child nor sugar saturated flavor to a diabetic. Likewise for pastors. A particular flavor of pastor works better in some settings than others. Let’s consider four flavors that are distinctive enough to keep in mind when matching the right pastor to a local church’s dominant needs and challenges.
Four Flavors of Pastors
- Start-up Pastor – excellent for church plants; gifted with taking very little and building from the ground up; very integral in setting up leaders; establishing how things are going to work when starting from scratch; these pastors start the gyroscope spinning with a support structure to maintain motion before moving on to the next church plant opportunity
- Rocksteady Pastors – takes on an existing congregation and focuses on bridging the old with the new; maintains good engagement of the people across age groups; sustains and build on the success of pervious administrations; establishes a legacy or base upon which future pastors may build
- Amplifier Pastors – when assigned to a stagnant or aimless congregation, this type of pastor harnesses the synergies and giftedness in a way that greatly enhances the congregation’s effectiveness, revitalizes hope and the sense of direction; moves the people from merely existing to thriving as a church; wherever this pastor goes, the impact is real and remarkably better in short order
- Transitional Pastors – excellent with replanting dying churches; helping the remnants after a church split or loss of a critical leader OR after legal or fiscal crises or community-wide devastation of which the church cannot recover; involved with sunsetting the existing local church and transitioning members to a new congregation/location; deals with the harsh reality of an aging congregation that has repeatedly been unsuccessful in attracting younger people and the median age of the congregants gets older and older each year; this church has lost its critical mass to sustain itself
These four pastor flavors require a different set of skills, gifts, and passions. Matching the pastor for the special need of the congregation can produce fruit or retard progress. Picking the right flavor is more apt to produce a favorable outcome. Leaders that assign pastors would do well when assessing the pastoral pool of candidates and matching them accordingly. Pastors would do well when considering which flavor best matches their interests and capabilities. Both the pastors and those the assigners of pastors can work together to achieve the better good. Invite God to help you position the right flavors for the right churches and watch God give the increase.