Pastor As Abbott

A gardner or farmer understands that the life and purpose of plants or crops is not something over which the farmer has a great deal of control. And so, leadership as cultivation is not about people fitting into your strategy; it is about providing the environment in which missional imagination buds and develops and in which the farmer may well be astonished by the results.”

Thanks, Len for the pointer to this quote. Chris Erdman and Alan Roxburgh provide some good stuff on missional leadership. Here’s what Alan says:

“For leaders, cultivating growth is about becoming an abbot in a congregation rather than a pastor. An abbot is a leader who forms a way of life among a whole people. Missional change is primarily about formation–and formation is about the habits and practices which shape new ways of being the church. Cultivation is an ancient word taken from agricultural practices. It is an organic metaphor rather than one of managment or warfare. A gardner or farmer understands that the life and purpose of plants or crops is not something over which the farmer has a great deal of control. And so, leadership as cultivation is not about people fitting into your strategy; it is about providing the environment in which missional imagination buds and develops and in which the farmer may well be astonished by the results.”



I love Alan’s description of the pastor as an abbot — “a leader who forms a way of life among a whole people.” I appreciate the reminder that it’s about the formation of new habits and practices that shape new ways of being the church.

One thought on “Pastor As Abbott

  1. That is such a great quote. I sent this to some people on our admin team at our school. I think it has to continue to be the goal as we try to become by grace what christ is by nature. Thanks for the encouragement (and for making me think about school a week after I just got done!!!)It really is about “providing the environment”, and not always easy when that environment means different things to different people.

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