Pastor, are you good at some things? Bad at others?
I recently did a poll among some pastor friends. I ask them about some of their areas of weakness. The exact question was worded like this:
We all a vessels surrendered to the Lord for His use, however; we have an obligation to learn, grow and mature. One of the ways to get better is to “fess up” to the weakness. The forum seems to be a good place for that. There are many areas: doctrinal, communications, presentation skills, study habits, etc… where we are not be as sharp as we need to be. Where or what would you say in your greatest weakness in terms of managing or organizing your church and it many facets?
The guys responded with the following list of areas in which they struggle:
- I’m also not good at reading, studying, or application in preaching.
- I am definitely not creative.
- I struggle with empathy and patience.
- Administration is my Achilles heel.
- I am a procrastinator.
- I struggle at maintaining focus. Administration
- Motivating people to show up
- I don’t naturally like people.
- May God help me to be more sociable.
- Self evaluation.
- I’m not good at making decisions quickly or “pulling the trigger”.
- I don’t like taking risks.
- I’m always analyzing all the possible outcomes.
There is an old saying that says, “you cannot correct what you will not confront”. Confronting weaknesses is a very important part of leadership. In fact, if you where to list out all the duties of a strong and effective leader, you would always find self correction gets a high priority. Unfortunately, like many other problems a church can experience, this matter of leadership “self correction” often gets shoved under the rug. If we do that long enough and often enough we will find ourselves with an ineffective and plugged up ministry.
Here are few ways to BEGIN confronting the problems. Long term solutions will grow out of these seeds you plant.
(Note); if you are struggling with a major issue like porn, depression, suicide, major marital issue etc…all this advice below needs to taken to 20X. Get serious about the ministry and get serious help.
- Hone in on a single weakness.
- Admit to someone you are going to begin to focus on correcting the weakness.
- Take 15 min. to address it with a trusted person (retired people often have more free time and are very understanding).
- Delegate study time to it (just like you would for a sermon).
- Pick a week and focus on the topic- Ex. Nov.1-7 is delegation week. “I will read/listen all I can about how to be better at delegating”.
- Use your commute that week to listen to a helps resource, book or podcast
- Schedule a follow up meeting with trusted person during that week.
- Make some goals. Take action steps. Move forward.
- Be done with it. In other words don’t get carried away with solving a little problem with a sledge hammer. Save that for the big problems and strategies.
- Look to the next small weakness. Tackle it!
So just to take it to a real life example….Here is my recent personal example:
- My staff meetings within the ministry stunk. Thus communications suffered and that brought on lotsa other problems.
- I did a little analysis to hone it down to a “meetings” revamp as opposed to communications styles, one-on-ones, announcements etc… (they are all related, but fixing the “meetings” rose to the top.)
- I blocked off some time to work on it. I read/listened to about three books on meetings (Patrick Lencioni stuff).
- I found a retired former CEO of a large company to talk with. Short simple confession-based meeting at first. I got him to buy-in to my problem. My problem became his project.
- After a second meeting, we white boarded a few steps. (How many meetings were needed, who should be in what meetings and making meeting better by using an agenda)
- I made a commitment that within ten days I would make the necessary changes. We changed the format of the meeting, who was invited to what meeting, created an agenda template and changed the rooms where we were doing some of the meetings.
- That’s it. There will be some more steps, I am sure. I can guarantee I don’t have this problem solved, but I did make a pretty good dent in it!
It is your turn now, and I’d love to hear all about how you are conquering your weaknesses! Please comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Mike, pastor and church planter
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