Rationale | HOPE CSA | J.L. Hawkins

Rationale

From founder Jeff Hawkins:

It is my observation that the day-to-day work of the pastor is becoming more and more like the work of an organizational CEO, whose function is to "lead" the congregatiom by making the church machinery run smoothly toward increased production of more dollars, more square feet, more disciples, and even more faith.  In order to do this, pastors must spend the bulk of their time with the organizational machinery (attending committee meetings, installing, promoting, and operating programs, evaluating and upgrading technology).  The problem with this—for all its necessity and benefits—is that the church is not at its heart an organizational machine and the pastor isn’t called to be an organizational CEO or a production manager or a mechanic.  

The church, according to the Scriptures, is a household, like a family or a flock, and the pastor is the Chief Steward of the Household or a Shepherd of the Flock.  Households do not operate chiefly by mechanical means, but operate by organic means, by biological processes like a human body (which is the image used by the Apostle Paul).  What matters most to a body is its health.  (How many people have you heard say, ‘Lose your health and you’ve lost everything?”) Health is properly the chief goal of any body or biological entity such as a household. This view is not only practical, it is biblical: indeed, the New Testament Greek word soteria, which we often translate “salvation,” is also translated as “health.”  The root of the word is health is also the root of the words “whole” and “holy.” 

From where do healthy bodies originate?  The bible informs us further:  human bodies were made from humus, according to Genesis 1, humans from humus, living souls from soil!  So it makes sense that we can learn something about our humanity and its health by observing the earth.  And, basically, that’s what pastors are charged to do: the word “pastor” comes from the Latin word that literally means “one who puts to pasture.” So that’s what we do on the family farm:  we put pastors in the pastures to reconnect them to the Creation in which the Creator works soteria, health, even salvation!  We bring these congregational leaders whose days are increasingly spent indoors with meetings and committees and programs and the mechanics of the organization to the outdoors, to re-root them within the household of Creation to better understand how the Creator brings health/holiness/wholeness to flocks, to herds, to pastures, to human families, to Christian congregations.  It is all part of the same piece.

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