Pastorpreneur means what?
(Note: Prof. John Rose, a Graduate in Sociology and Postgraduate in English Language & Literature, is also very active in writing and editing. His write-ups have been published in The Hindu, The Indian Express, The New Leader and Indian Currents. He was editing a Tamil monthly AAKKAM from 1980 to 2001 and later he edited and published a Tamil/English monthly VAIRAM from 2002 to 2015.
He had also received training in philosophy and theology during his 8-year stint in a monastery. At present he is Chairman and Correspondent of National Matriculation High School which he founded in Kanniyakumari District.
With this piece on “Pastorpreneurs” he joins the CCV columnists. We extend Prof. John hearty welcome, thank him for his pearls of wisdom and request our readers to send him their constructive feed back for the benefit of all for building a wider network of people of Good-will around the globe. james kottoor, editor ccv.)
‘He was always praying, always preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechizing, always writing and studying’. This description is about the pastorpreneur Samuel Rutherford (1600- 1661), the author of Westminster Confession. Another allusion to him is: ‘His writing desk was said to be perhaps the most effective and widely resounding pulpit then in Christendom’.
We are living in an environment of entrepreneurship. Those who do not keep kicking-up are judged to be sliding in their mission. Those who are serious about their vocation or profession prove to be entrepreneurs and even affix ‘preneur’ to the diversity of their enterprise. A committed educationist calls himself ‘edu-preneur’ to differentiate himself from others who have taken such a profession for mere lucre or sport. Worldwide, pastors too have started re-inventing their vocation and some are bold enough to call themselves pastor-preneurs.
Dr. John Jackson, author of Vocational Stewardship (Building Church Leaders training tool), explains the new concept: “Pastorpreneur (pas' ter pre noor) is a pastoral innovator and creative dreamer who is willing to take great risks in ministry in the hope of great gain for Christ and his kingdom. Like a good entrepreneur, this leader isn't wild-eyed and foolish. He assesses opportunities carefully, but, led by God, he is willing to attempt great things for God”. The difference between an ordinary entrepreneur and pastorpreneur is to be noted. The former is driven by ‘material’ gains, whereas the latter is ‘led by God’. St. Francis Xavier got it right when St. Ignatius Loyola quoted the Gospel: ‘if you gain the world and lose the soul’. A contrast indeed! Xavier was willing to put aside his comforts and security—to walk into the unknown.
Blessed Mother Mary was in her patient and humble self when she, after three days of arduous search-out, found her wisdom-filled twelve-year old Son in the Jerusalem Temple. She could only blurt out: Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Mary was aghast when our Lord retorted: How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Lk. 2: 48-49 King James Version). The twelve-year old had already turned a pro-active entrepreneur, stepping out of the comfort zone provided by Mary and Joseph.
A pastorpreneur risks the comfort zone of parish, presbytery, office and designation for the sake of the Lord’s call! His path may be checkered with successes and defeats, but in the great adventure, this pastor touches many more people than if he had chosen to play it safe. He does not satisfy himself with the compartmentalized pastoral duties assigned to him by his bishop within his parish territory. He ardently sets out to fulfill Jesus’ commission: Go to the end of the world with the Gospel! Jesus’ world is not the geographic globe, but even more: world of poverty and distress, world of violence and war, world of migration and want, world of media and sex, world of economics and politics, ….. You encounter Jesus in these forsaken zones.
St. Paul reviewed his pastoral journey and came out with the terse comment: ‘I have run the RACE’. A pastorpreneur emulates the rapidity of this glorious evangelical pursuit.
Should we not tarry here just to take stock of our convent schools and church institutions which, besides noble causes, have also spawned thousands of fundamentalists in this country who snuff out lives, annihilate settlements, burn places of worship, corrupt politics, desecrate media and spit on society. Atrocious indeed, they excuse themselves by absolving their terrors in chaste English taught by our Sisters, Fathers and Brothers.
Yahweh stood at the entrance of Elijah’s cave on Mount Carmel and called out “Elijah! What are you doing?”. The Prophet retorted: I am burning with the ZEAL of the Lord.
The pastorpreneur is able to gather the whisper of the Lord: Would you dare to dream big dreams for me? The answer, of course, carries the costly price tag: Lord! Put a burning ember in my stomach!
Writer’s Address: Prof. C. John Rose, Correspondent, National Matriculation School,Arumanai (P.O.) – 629 151,Kanyakumari District, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org