Innovative Ministry
The 5 Biggest Dangers Of A Long-Term Pastorate – And How To Avoid Them
No pastor should ever stop learning – not if we hope to stay effective.

If people are given a task, but they don’t have the authority to make decisions within reasonable parameters, we’re not encouraging leadership and creativity, we’re perpetuating the status quo – and deepening the rut we’re in.

When someone is given a task, give them the keys. Literally and figuratively.

Encourage Ministry Styles That You Don’t Like

Years ago, I heard a piece of wisdom from a retiring pastor that has stuck with me ever since. In referring to the new songs and instruments being used in the church, he said “I’ve learned to worship Jesus singing songs I don’t like.”

That’s what grownups do. We eat our vegetables. We understand that styles change. The way people hear the message and express themselves in worship is different from generation to generation.

And if we truly are mature in our faith, we can worship Jesus anywhere. But if everything in the church is done your way, it’s stuck in a rut. Your rut.

Change means discomfort. But that’s where we learn and grow.

Be Approachable And Correctable

Is anyone in your church allowed to tell you you’re wrong? Other than your spouse? If not, you and the church are in a dangerous place.

If people are allowed to tell you when you’re wrong, when was the last time someone did? If you can’t remember, it’s not because you’re faultless, it’s probably because you’re not as approachable as you may think you are.

We can’t just be open to new ideas, we have to ask for them. Regularly and honestly.

Create an environment in which great ideas can flow and the best ideas come to the top.

We need to seek feedback by asking questions like “Does this still work?” “Can this idea be improved somehow?” and “If you had to change this, how would you change it?” When we do that, we create an environment in which great ideas can flow and the best ideas come to the top.

I wrote more about this in a follow-up article, 4 Principles To Get (And Give) Better Feedback.

Equip, Equip, Equip

Leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders. They equip God’s people to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12) instead of using them to do our bidding.

Leaders don’t just delegate tasks, we help equip people with the mental, spiritual, emotional, relational and physical tools to get the job done.

Pastors who do everything, or have everything done for them, get stuck in ruts of our own making.

Pastors who equip others to think, dream, pray, believe, work, create, innovate and do what God has called them to do create an environment that is always adapting, always growing, and always reaching others for Jesus.

Pivot is a part of CT's Blog Forum. Support the work of CT. Subscribe and get one year free.
The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

December 05, 2018 at 2:00 AM

Join in the conversation about this post on Facebook.

Recent Posts

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters