Young pastors learn something new every day. And if they don’t, they need to! There is so much to learn. In the process, they often whine about things in ministry that they don’t like, and that frustrate them. Here are five whines of young pastors that I have observed from others, but mostly know from experience!
1. My board doesn't get it. Often a young leader will come to a board member, or to a board meeting, with a pile of fresh ideas and new initiatives, and it seems like they all just get shot down before having a chance to fly. The pastor leaves dejected, discouraged, angry, and after repeated experiences like this in board meetings, resentful.
For most people, if it isn’t their idea, they are not excited about it. Once you’ve built relationships with your board members, the key is to lead and facilitate change in such a way that the ideas are their ideas, and not just yours. People get behind what they own, and they often easily own what they create, or what they are a part of creating.
Before any initiative is introduced, there needs to be communication, vision casting, and relationship all happening ahead of time. Leadership guru John Maxwell says it like this: “You have to have a meeting before the meeting, and if you don’t, you‘ll likely have a meeting after the meeting since the meeting wasn’t very good because you didn’t have the meeting before the meeting.” I would say that you have to have communication and relationship before the meeting!
2. Our people are just focused on themselves. The truth is, everyone is focused on themselves as the default position. We are all selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed naturally. It takes leaders to help a group of people move their attention and affection to others. Any kind of serious paradigm shift simply takes time, consistent encouragement, and the Holy Spirit.
The more you talk about “the people who are not here yet” (as in, not in our church yet) and the more you purposefully direct your budget, resources, facilities, and calendar in the direction of others, the more your church family’s attention will turn to the community and outsiders. Again, don’t forget the spiritual dimension of the Holy Spirit. He loves the lost, and he will help you and your people to love outsiders – don’t forget to pray and talk to Him about this.
3. Everyone has opinions, but nobody wants to get involved. Every time someone gives you an idea, ask him or her to either implement it, or to lead others to implement it. And, every time someone shares a problem with you, ask them for three suggestions on how to solve the problem.
These actions will do two things: First, they will cut down empty communication, whining, and complaining. Second, they will surface people who are serious about serving God, the church family, and your community. Once people realize that you are more walk than talk, more action oriented and not discussion oriented, they will both quiet down, and get involved. Leaders attract leaders, and people of indecision and inaction drive them off.
4. We need higher offerings and better facilities. Jesus said that he who is faithful with little will also be faithful with much. Are you maximizing and caring for your current facilities? Are you using all of your people to their greatest potential? I learned a long time ago that God will not give you more people to not care for, or more facility to not manage. If you are caring for your people well, God will bring you more to care for.
If you truly do not have enough to do ministry with properly, then that is what leadership is all about! Leaders are creative and resourceful. The main method of learning creativity and resourcefulness is to not have enough. So rise to the occasion and prove how little is much when God is in it. J
5. I’m too busy to train and delegate responsibility to others. Well, you know the answer to this one, don’t you? You’re too busy not to! Yeah, that’s right, you are way too busy, therefore you must train others and delegate responsibility to them.
What are you doing right now that someone else can do? Make a short list of the significant and time-consuming stuff, and then begin to find others who can do these things. Even if you worked with just one person each week training them to do one thing – that would really add up in just a month! Training and delegating to others is the only way to get to what Andy Stanley calls “Only do what only you can do” status! If someone else can do it, then why are you doing it? Hmmm? That is a very difficult question that all leaders should ask themselves regularly.
Now, if you don’t train others and delegate responsibilities, then the ministry and the church will only grow to what you can humanly lead, feed, care for, and manage. That alone is depressing! Get others to help, train them and delegate significant major responsibilities to them, and have fun watching them grow as they serve others, as part of a joyful ministry team.
You can whine, but it doesn’t grow you, your leadership, or your church. So if you really need to whine, call your best friend, whine to him or her, and then start leading! Oh, by the way, would you like some cheese with that whine??
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