Pastors need to be transformed from people who create and direct ministry into leaders who recognize and encourage ministers. This is the thrust of D.Min. thesis being written by a friend, William Carl Thomas.
I have watched Bill for the past few months and marvel at what he trusts the lay leaders of his church to do. Bill is rector of an Episcopal church, and he seems to enjoy giving power to others. They respond by taking responsibility for doing the ministry of the church. Ministry is not created by the paid minister; he simply recognizes the gifts and callings of the members.
Bill claims that the action key to this type of leadership is listening — listening with heart, instead of evaluating others’ words in the mind. What would happen in our churches if we all spent less time evaluating, problem solving, and creating and instead devoted our heart to hearing what God was doing in each other?