- Empowering other competent leaders, not just delegating the tasks
- Identifying my strengths and then finding others who are different than me to manage around my weaknesses
- Hiring an assistant, someone who’s not a secretary, but rather a leader and a project manager
- Surround myself with problem-solvers, rather than problem-messengers
He concludes the list by saying, “I’m typically the problem when my day is filled with killing cockroaches.”
To which I have to respond…
If your day is filled with killing cockroaches, either you’re the problem, or… you’re a small church pastor.
…You Might Be a Small Church Pastor
Let’s take a look at Tony’s list again. There’s not a bad idea in the bunch. But they don’t match reality for most small church pastors.
- Blocking out time to dream? If you’re bi-vocational, you barely have time to sleep.
- Empowering, not just delegating competent leaders? How about finding one, just one person who’ll volunteer to help out and show up on time.
- Finding others to manage around my weaknesses? (See above problem)
- Hiring an assistant/project manager? Which of the 35 people in the church would be able to do that? And on what (non-existent) budget?
- Surround myself with problem-solvers, not problem-messengers? That roar you heard was small church pastors around the world laughing out loud. What some people call problem-messengers, many of us lovingly call “our congregation”.
Let me repeat. Tony’s list isn’t wrong. Every point is valid. When you’re a manager, you need to prioritize your schedule, hire problem-solvers and make better use of your time and talents. CEOs who kill cockroaches will not be as effective as CEOs who hire cockroach-killers.
But in a small church, the CEO analogy doesn’t apply. Small churches don’t follow a business or city model, we follow a family model.
And small church pastors aren’t like city managers or CEOs. We’re more like older siblings.
Families don’t operate well under CEOs – or under an older sibling trying to act like a CEO.
Families don’t want to be managed, they want to be led. And they want to be loved.
And when you’re part of a family, even the leader of a family, you do things for your family that you wouldn’t necessarily do for your co-workers.
Sometimes you gotta kill cockroaches.
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