In my extensive ministry to pastors over the past two decades I have noticed that oftentimes ministers of the gospel are ineffective because they are operating outside of their assignments. Some of these very good people are overseeing churches, and in some cases are superintendents for a denomination over churches in a region.

I posit that much of the ineffectiveness in the church today is due to senior leaders operating outside of their assignments. These leaders are more gifted in the deaconate than they are called to function in one of the fivefold ministry gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4:11.

The following reasons, based on observation, are signs that someone may indeed be attempting to oversee a church without having the grace to be a senior pastor.

(I realize that these are generalities and may not fit every situation. I also realize that being a good administrator and having the gift to implement effective programs is a great asset to a senior pastor, not a deficit. Understanding your proper placement will save you from a lifetime of frustration and discouragement.)

I. You are more effective when you administrate than when you preach or teach.

II. You tend to be more focused on administrating programs than pouring into people.

III. You tend to always be involved in the details of your projects instead of directing the vision.

IV. You attain more satisfaction in aiding people with their physical needs (for example: doing them favors like driving them somewhere, painting a house, fixing a mechanical problem, giving out food, etc.) than leading people towards a compelling vision (see Acts 6:3-4).

V. Your influence on the congregation is almost always limited to those whom you personally touch or help rather than those who hear you speak from the pulpit. (Those with the gift of communicating God’s truth to a congregation get people to connect with them and their vision, even those who may not have met them personally.)

VI. You focus more on marketing, media, and technology than on biblical content and theology.

VII. You do not have a great yearning to wait on God and study the Scriptures daily for a prophetic edge but almost always wake up in the morning desiring to “do something.”

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