This week’s podcast was about plastic pastors. If you haven’t listened to it yet, do so, it will send you into some soul searching. Here are three more ways to not be plastic, to add to the five from the podcast…
Spend as much time out of the office as you do in it! This may seem impossible, but honestly, if you are spending most of your time creating stuff in your office, you will find you don’t have the relational bridges built to deliver those “creations” anyway. Sermons, lessons, administrative and strategic plans, programs, and even written devotionals – are all delivered best in a relational context.
People really don’t want to know what you know, if they don’t really know you, but when they know you, they want to know what you know, and if you don’t care about sharing what you know with them then just don’t bother to get to know them or allow them to know you… :)
Determine quotas for personal visits, meetings, and conversations. How many personal conversations do you need to have with people, church members/attenders, new people, friends, etc. every week? How many face to face meetings do you need to have to develop and maintain good relationships with your leaders? How many homes to you need to be in every week, to stay connected to your people? You should know these numbers, set them as goals, and then execute!
If you get tied up in the office or the coffee shop too much, and don’t get enough face time with people, especially your church family, you will begin to plasticicize in your pastoral responsibilities. Yes, that is really a word. Now.
Talk with another pastor or leader about it. Develop an ongoing conversation with another pastor where you talk openly about the dangers of becoming plastic in ministry. Talk about your heart, your struggles, your challenges, your temptations, your failures and your successes, your joys and your sorrows. You can talk about these things with another pastor, when perhaps you are not able to with one of your church members. It’s a healthy practice.
I get together at least monthly, and often more, with another leader in my community and we talk about everything going on in our lives. It is simply a relationship of sharing, discovering, asking, confessing, encouraging, and caring. He is not a member of my church, and we have no official authority into each other’s lives. But just spending the time over lunch being completely real with another leader, that is gold for me. It has to be the right person too. If you do not have that person, ask God for him or her. Don’t stop asking God until you find him or her.
Plastic only counts with water guns and whipped cream bowls – it has no place in the heart of a pastor. Keep your skin in the game… no plastic!
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