A new guy at church comes up to the pastor and says, “Pastor Jim, what can I do…” the pastor stops him and says, “Just call me Jim. If you call me Pastor Jim then I have to call you Parishioner Pete. Sounds odd so let’s skip it.” Grady Shuman told me that and I laughed.
Then I came across what Jesus says about it and its a really flat structure. He said,”Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.” Matthew 23:8 (NLT) No big deal, why not just call yourself Pastor and skip Rabbi. But then a sentence or two later he says, “And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.” and “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
So, one of the first rules of Missional leadership is probably that you have to skip the titles and stay off the wheel of prestige.
Missional leadership is flat but is it scalable? It seems that if we keep the hierarchy to Jesus then he has a really big crowd around him, an amazing number of direct reports! Kind of funny to think of it that way. But since he is all powerful and present everywhere it is no problem for him.
How do you think this affects church structures? Does it mean we have to stick to house churches? Is that a simplistic application? Does it just mean that we need to keep away from religious titles and the pride that goes with them?