Pastor’s ponderings

In my former career, I can remember some of my supervisors talking about how some of their counterparts in management should never have been made managers.  In their mind, these individuals did not have the ability to do what was necessary in their position, but had been promoted there due to their time in service or connections within the organization.  It was then that one of my supervisors told me about The Peter Principle.

            Apparently, The Peter Principle suggests that people will continually be given promotions based on their success in their current position, until they are put into a position in which they are no longer successful, meaning that they have reached their highest possible level of achievement.  I saw it all the time in the corporation in which I worked.  A really good salesperson would be made a sales manager, even though they didn’t have any management training.  The thought was, they were good at sales, so they can manage the sales of others, too.  Yet is this really true?  Just because someone is good at one thing, does it mean that they will also be good at something else?  And, when we force them to do that “something else” and they fail, whose fault is it?  Did they really reach their highest point of achievement, or were they placed in the wrong position for their gifts, talents, and skills?

            I’ve often wondered about this within the church.  How many church leader, clergy and laity alike, find themselves in this same situation?  How many have been placed in a position for which they have not been trained?  How many are failing because their gifts, talents, and skills do not align with what they are being asked to do?  How many do we consider to be failures because they are not achieving the results that we want, even though we are the ones that placed them there?

            I’ve said before that the heart of my ministry is found within Ephesians 4:12, “to equip the saints for the work of the ministry…”  Yet, in order to do this, we have to consider what ministry each saint should be equipped for.  In a recent Bible study on 1 Corinthians 12, we were discussing Spiritual Gifts.  There it notes that everyone is given a different Spiritual Gift so that, when combined, we find the church complete.  Not everyone is called to do the same thing.  Not everyone is gifted to do what another is.  Yet, we need everyone and their gifts in order to be successful.  Otherwise, what ends up happening is someone gets placed into a position that they are not gifted for, and the entire body fails.

            So ponder this this week – are you allowing your Spiritual Gift to be used within the Body of Christ, or are you letting the Peter Principle happen and increasing the chance of the Church’s failure?

                                                                        Pastor Steve

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