(Joseph Mattera) Many years ago, I was shocked when I realized that not all pastors have a strong gift of leadership. While that is OK, it is important to understand this to avoid confusion or frustration because of pastoral expectations and limitations.

Of course, technically, anybody who has a follower is a leader, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to the gift of leadership as shown in Romans 12:8. Those with this Romans 12 leadership gift, in my opinion, have the ability to influence people way beyond the reach of the four corners of a church building. Many pastors who only have the grace to function with hands-on ministry approach to personally touch those who are part of their congregation are sheep pastors. In contrast, leader pastors have a grace and vision to develop leaders who will in turn develop other leaders and beyond.

The difference between these two types of pastors is in their goals, objectives and methodologies, not in their love for people, which is great. (If a pastor in either category doesn’t love their congregation, they are not a true pastor or shepherd.) Because of a lack of understanding between pastors who fit in these two different categories, they tend to hold a negative view of each other and can be judgmental. I found that there is a need for both of these pastor-types as leaders to make the body of Christ effective. A best-case scenario is to have a senior pastor of a congregation with a strong gift of leadership and have support pastors who fit in the sheep pastor category. CONTINUE