The Pastor as Leader

What a delight recently to return to Mount Vernon Nazarene University to teach a one week intensive module on the subject, “The Pastor as Leader: Leading a Christian Community of Faith.” This is the fifth time I have taught the module over a 15 year period. It is pure joy for me to return to the classroom.

The overarching vision for the course was for each student to embrace the biblical model of “servant” as the driving force and organizing principle as she/he seeks to lead a local congregation as a Christian community of faith.

In the context of biblical and theological foundations, and from the perspectives of spiritual, strategic, and skills formation, the course was designed to encourage each pastor to explore the unique relationship between the theology we profess and the way we lead.

The course  was structured abour six themes:

  1. The MOTIVATION of servant leadership is grounded in a theology of church and ministry.
  2. The LIFESTYLE of servant leadership is characterized by a passion for Christlikeness.
  3. The GOAL of servant leadership is reconciliation, transformation, and disciple-making, individually and collectively.
  4. The METHOD of servant leadership is example, visioning, “strengths-development,” and teaching.
  5. The PAIN of servant leadership is experienced in the tension when good and godly people collide.
  6. The EVIDENCE of servant leadership is in the qualitative growth of the led

Several models were utilized to explore these themes, including the concept of  “Leadership and Communication,” “The Pastor as Catalyst for Congregational Transformation” and “The Planning Cycle.”


A Communication Model for Leading the People of God


 The Pastor as Catalyst for Congregational Transformation


The Planning Cycle



A scratch on the DVD prevented us from viewing the video, “The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition.” In its place we watched the film, “Ghandi,” and discussed the contemporary implications of this great Indian leader.

Click here to review the power point slides throughout the class.

My wife turned into a “social butterfly” during the week in Mount Vernon! It was the first time we have spent a week in our hometown for 18 years since I retired in 2007 from MVNU.

It was rewarding for me to walk around the campus and be reminded of God’s faithfulness to MVNU in the past and in the present! Anne and I have lifelong friends among the faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders.

Thanks, Dr. Martin, for your numerous expressions of kindness to Anne and me. We are proud of you and the strong leadership you provide to an outstanding Christian university.

Go Cougars!

LeBron Fairbanks



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