Developing Volunteers: Spiritual Boss vs. Spiritual Casting Director

You have a seminary degree, been given the title “pastor” or “minister” or your the youth or worship director. Spiritually, you are responsible for God’s presence being felt in the room if a worship leader or the word being rightly divided if the preacher. This affords appropriate honor, even pay for some. But, this does not mean you know how to put together a spread sheet, coach people to their potential, or even develop strategic plans. Bible school does not even mention what to do when successful in reaching people or how to get there.

Many of us are trained to think of the alpha male as the model of church leadership. We are spiritual bosses. We have the answers then in turn our people take those answers and present them. We have created a big mouth of sorts instead of people in our pews and ranks that can offer solutions. They come each week like baby chicks–beaks up waiting for the latest regurgitation to be fed. Our church people feel crippled, since they need the spiritual micro-manager to give permission on every detail of their lives.

Pastors get worn out or opt out because this is just insane. God never called us to be children forever. Someday, we become potty trained and able to think for ourselves using the tools of the word and the wisdom of our leaders to forge new territory. Well, that is how it is supposed to work. Often, talented and passionate men and women use none of that talent and passion for the mission. A spiritual boss has to give permission and they just don’t have time for that. They are loyal, so their stance is to be quiet even though there are things they can contribute far beyond the sidelines.

Let your people solve the problems. Here is where the spiritual casting director arrives to save the day. If you believe in the Priesthood of all Believers, the presence and gifting of the Holy Spirit in each believer, and the unique call to equip and deploy people for works of service then you are a casting director. Your job is to give permission. All the time. No one in the church should ever have the excuse of waiting for a spiritual boss to direct them when the mission should be clear. Administering the gifts with grace is our calling!

Let’s say you have a food crises in your town. Leadership is about declaring the problem and priority. “Hey folks, we have this need God is calling us to!” Then, finding the right people to decide the course of action is casting. “Joe, you know food banks and Sue owns a food market.” Prayerfully and strategically putting people together to solve problems empowers and gives permission. You do NOT have to make every decision. You need to lead, however!

You and I need the humility to not be the smartest person in the room as the leader. We simply need to know where God is going and help people get us there! So, would you rather be a spiritual boss or a spiritual casting director?

This is an excerpt from a talk “Developing Volunteers” that I will present several times this year. (National Worship Leader Conferences, PA, KS, CA).

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

10 comments

  1. Great and insightful post, Rich, and a very important topic to address for church leaders. Love the exhortation to "let your people solve the problem." Key points you’ve identified apply to all leadership, including businesses, and strike a cord for me in my daily practices and disciplines in trying to allow and empower our staff to find solutions to problem. I hope and would like to be a spiritual casting director. I’m afraid I stray and often micro-manage and act as the boss, but I’d much prefer the role of casting director.

    1. Susan, thanks for the feedback! I loved teaching this stuff to leaders. Are you going to be in Kansas in July?

  2. Great and insightful post, Rich, and a very important topic to address for church leaders. Love the exhortation to "let your people solve the problem." Key points you’ve identified apply to all leadership, including businesses, and strike a cord for me in my daily practices and disciplines in trying to allow and empower our staff to find solutions to problem. I hope and would like to be a spiritual casting director. I’m afraid I stray and often micro-manage and act as the boss, but I’d much prefer the role of casting director.

    1. Susan, thanks for the feedback! I loved teaching this stuff to leaders. Are you going to be in Kansas in July?

  3. Great and insightful post, Rich, and a very important topic to address for church leaders. Love the exhortation to "let your people solve the problem." Key points you’ve identified apply to all leadership, including businesses, and strike a cord for me in my daily practices and disciplines in trying to allow and empower our staff to find solutions to problem. I hope and would like to be a spiritual casting director. I’m afraid I stray and often micro-manage and act as the boss, but I’d much prefer the role of casting director.

    1. Susan, thanks for the feedback! I loved teaching this stuff to leaders. Are you going to be in Kansas in July?

  4. Great and insightful post, Rich, and a very important topic to address for church leaders. Love the exhortation to "let your people solve the problem." Key points you’ve identified apply to all leadership, including businesses, and strike a cord for me in my daily practices and disciplines in trying to allow and empower our staff to find solutions to problem. I hope and would like to be a spiritual casting director. I’m afraid I stray and often micro-manage and act as the boss, but I’d much prefer the role of casting director.

    1. Susan, thanks for the feedback! I loved teaching this stuff to leaders. Are you going to be in Kansas in July?

  5. Great and insightful post, Rich, and a very important topic to address for church leaders. Love the exhortation to "let your people solve the problem." Key points you’ve identified apply to all leadership, including businesses, and strike a cord for me in my daily practices and disciplines in trying to allow and empower our staff to find solutions to problem. I hope and would like to be a spiritual casting director. I’m afraid I stray and often micro-manage and act as the boss, but I’d much prefer the role of casting director.

    1. Susan, thanks for the feedback! I loved teaching this stuff to leaders. Are you going to be in Kansas in July?

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