Multiplication Center

Balancing the Entrepreneur, Manager and Technician in Ministry

November 25, 2008

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber

This is not the typical book that I read because I have never been that interested in business till now, and because I was always frustrated by business practices in the church setting.  They have a place, but sometimes you have to ask yourself the question if you are running a business or a church?  I was never quite sure how they might go hand in hand.  That being said, this book has really presented to me some innovative ideas as far as how to approach not only a business, but the role of pastors/ministers in the Church.

In this book Michael Gerber basically makes the case that every business owner needs to balance three roles within their business if they are going to succeed.

  1. Entrepreneur
  2. Manager
  3. Technician

This may not seem very innovative to many of you, especially those of you already running your business.  But I have tried to apply it more to the church setting, especially in the specific role of a pastor.  I believe (a lot from my own experience) that many pastors are gifted in 1-2 of those areas, but it’s hard to find a pastor gifted in all three.  Are there exceptions?  Certainly.  Can a pastor learn to be all three? I think so.

Let’s think about it in the context of the church and in the role of the pastor.

  1. Entrepreneur–I think a lot of pastors are gifted in the role of being enterpreneurs.  Many thrive on brainstorming, dreaming, collaborating, etc.  They like casting a vision for the ministry, often thinking about how it will be carried out.  If a pastor is to be an entrepreneur it’s more than just casting vision, but it’s seeing where the ministry needs to end up, and then beginning the ministry in such a way that it can get there.

  2. Manager–I think this is the one area that most pastors struggle the most, which is why you see the important role of executive pastor in many churches.  Pastors dream and cast vision, but are often unsure of the day to day necessities of the church, often leaving the details to those who are more detail minded.  Obviously the size of the church plays an important function, often dictating what jobs the pastor will or will not do in his or her role.

  3. Technician–This is what most pastors love doing.  This is the pastor who gets up and preaches, meets with people.  It’s often what drove them into ministry in the first place…which is the love of people and working with them…the gift of sharing the gospel and playing a part in the transformation of people’s lives. 

According to Gerber, these three roles must be performed if a business is going to succeed. 

And I’m wondering if the role of the pastor needs to function in these three areas.  A pastor may delegate certain responsibilities out to others, and they may often work in teams.  But I’m starting to believe that a pastor needs to understand and have a sense of all three roles, finding a balance of the three in their own lives and ministries.

I think the book has some very innovative principles for business (and obviously this isn’t a new book), but I think a church and/or pastor can apply these same innovative principles as well.

What do you think? 

Have you read the book?  What did you think about it?

How do you see the 3 functions of a small business owner being applied to a pastor?

Rhett Smith

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