As I reflect on the GBI senior pastor's dissatisfaction with the current state of the church, even though it has a membership of 30,000, I cannot help but recall what Jim Collins and Thorn Rainer wrote. They both did research on good companies and churches that were disatisfied with being good and went on to become great companies and churches.
Rainer believes that most churches are falling short of their divine call to be "great" churches and remain content with just being "good" churches (translated, mediocre). Sadly, I've even heard many church leaders justify their lack of obedience to God's high calling by spiritualizing their mediocrity.
Following Jim Collins' five levels of executive leadership, Thorn Rainer has his corresponding six levels of pastoral leadership:
- Level 1: Acts 1 - The Called Leader. Breakout church leaders have a clear sense of being called by God into ministry.
- Level 2: Acts 2 - The Contributing Leader. Breakout church leaders take their basic pastoral duties of preaching and prayer seriously. On the average, they spent 20 hours per week in sermon preparation and prayer.
- Level 3: Acts 3 - The Outwardly-focused Leader. Breakout church leaders are consistently and persistently moving the church to look beyond itself.
- Level 4: Acts 4 - The Passionate Leader. Breakout church leaders have an obvious passion for their ministries which is evident in their preaching, conversation and leadership roles.
- Level 5: Acts 5: The Bold Leader. Breakout church leaders are willing to take incredible steps of faith and make tough calls to keep the church focused on its primary mission.
- Level 6: Acts 6/7: The Legacy Leader. Breakout church leaders are willing to give ministry to others and raise up new leaders to replace them.
The challenge for a church leader is move himself upward until he reaches Level 6 leadership before he can become a breakout church leader.