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Pastor to Pastor

Functionaries or Shepherds?

How do we think about the Church?

The Christian Mind

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 1 Peter 5.3-5

The Christian Mind
Harry Blamires (1916-)
“It would be difficult to think of a more pernicious and wholesale perversion of Christian thinking than that which, in elevating a man to an episcopal throne, would obliterate the concept of the shepherd and his flock, and substitute that of the well-oiled functionary required to operate a series of mechanisms from headquarters, as one might run a string of stores. From the concept of the overseer it is a small step to that of the machine-minder. From the concept of the machine-minder it is a small step to that of the big-end which swings the crankshaft. In so far as one allows mechanistic thinking to seep upwards from the life of manufacture and commerce to that of society, then to that of the Church, one reverses the Christian mission, which is to cause Christian thinking to flow downwards from the life of the Church to that of society, and then to that of commerce and manufacture.”

As no servant is greater than his master, no church will rise above the level of its leaders. Whatever way of thinking about themselves and their calling our leaders adopt, will be emulated by those they serve in the church. If we give in to the pressures of our culture to become “coaches” or CEOs or managers in our leadership, we shouldn’t be surprised if most of those on our “team” or in our “enterprise” turn out to be bench-sitters or mere “investors” or simple functionaries, turning this or that crank in the machinery of the church. We have turned the world upside-down on our heads, thinking that, if we make our churches more like the world, we’ll then make our world more like the churches. Say what? If our pastors would only agree to become true shepherds, then church members might discover the joy and potential of being a flock of prized sheep, and together we might start to turn this upside-down world rightside-up for Jesus. Think it will work? It shouldn’t take a miracle – only submitting to Jesus and obeying His Word.

What model of leadership do you present to the people you serve? Does that model derive more from Scripture or from the times?

Your Life as Christ Sees It

“As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (Jn. 20.21). That’s how Jesus thinks about our lives. Our Mission Partners Outreach program is designed as a life-based training curriculum, to help church members identify and begin thinking about and working their Personal Mission Fields for the purpose of making disciples and advancing Christ’s Kingdom. I’m looking for some men to lead through this training program, and to help you see how our Mission Partners Outreach programcan help your church overcome its failure to communicate. If you’re interested, drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Prayer and the Christian Mind
Prayer is the framework in which a Christian mind is engaged and nurtured. Here we commune with the Lord Who makes all things new, including our minds. Are you working to improve your prayer life? Download our free ReVision series on The Parameters of Prayer by clicking here(for the first installment). Get with a friend, or share this study with your group, and grow together in prayer, for a Christian mind and more.

We rejoice in the Lord for His goodness in supporting our ministry. Might He want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from
The Christian Mind are from Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1963, 1978).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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