Six Ways You Can Support Your Senior Pastor

Many senior pastors are blessed with a great support staff and volunteers around them, but there are others who aren’t so fortunate. Some pastors have to try to lead a team they didn’t pick, a board they didn’t elect, and a congregation who aren’t always happy about them being their pastor. It’s a recipe for disaster, but you can help change that. You can make the decision to support your pastor, and here’s six ways you can do it.

  1. Don’t make them feel guilty for spending time with their family. I’ve more than likely been guilty of this myself. During certain seasons, it can be tempting to expect the senior pastor to skip out on some family events in the name of ministry. Don’t do this. Our families are the most important ministry we’ll ever lead. Lead yours well, and don’t make the pastor feel guilty for spending time with theirs.
  2. Don’t expect them to be at every hospital visit, funeral visit, or even church event. We all are limited to 24 hours in a day. In order to be healthy and lead, a pastor has to prioritize their time. That means they may have to miss out on some things others think are really important. If it’s that important, surely someone else can step up and do it.
  3. Don’t talk bad about them to others. Not even your spouse. It’s not healthy, and it’s probably a sin. If you have a problem with them, go to them and talk with them one on one. And if you hear someone else talking bad about them, it’s your job to step in and stop it.
  4. Encourage them. Most pastors receive far more criticism than encouragement. They have more doubts and fears than you probably realize. Send them a note or email to encourage them, and tell them how their ministry is impacting your life.
  5. Pray for them. It’s hard to complain about someone you’re praying for. Pray for their ministry, their family, and them personally. Give it a try, and see if it makes a difference.
  6. Do your job well. Perhaps the best thing you can do to support your pastor is to get better at the role you play. If you lead a ministry, lead to the very best of your ability. If you’re a volunteer, serve with everything you got. If you’re just attending a church, start getting involved. If we all just embraced this one idea, our churches would get healthier.

Ok, senior pastors, how did I do? What did I leave out that you would add? Leave a comment and let me know. Also, while you’re here, you might as well subscribe to the blog, especially if you’re looking for tips on growing and leading a church.

5 Things I’m Asking Our Leaders to Do More of This Year

Are you satisfied with the results you’re currently seeing in your church? I haven’t been. For several years our church has grown in almost every category, but last year I feel like we may have taken a step back. That means something has to change. I’m not going to let my church settle for good enough, and neither should you. So, I’m asking our leaders to do these five things more this year.

  1. Give Financially –  The financial struggle in small town churches is real. This year we’ve felt it more than any other. Our desire is to launch more campuses around us, but there’s no way we can do that at our current giving levels. We have to teach our leaders how to manage their money better in order for them to be generous. Some of our leaders need to begin giving this year, and others need to begin giving more.
  2. Lead a Group –  Even though I have a love/hate relationship with small groups, I’m becoming more and more convinced that they are an absolute necessity for a church’s future success. The only way we’re going to see small groups become a big part of our church is through our leaders. They have to be willing to open up their homes and their hearts to better connect with others.
  3. Engage with the Church on Social Media – Our church pages have over 2,500 followers on social media, and yet when the church posts and no one engages. Only a handful of people ever see it. Social media is an incredible tool for our church to get our message heard, but our leaders have to be intentional about commenting and sharing. We can help them out by making sure when we post something of importance, like a new sermon series or family event, we let them know.
  4. Care for Their Volunteer Team –  It’s easy to get frustrated at volunteers who show up late, or don’t show up at all. But I’m more frustrated at leaders who don’t take the time to follow up with their volunteers and find out why they’re having a hard time showing up. When we care for our teams, they’ll start to care about showing up. Leaders would do themselves a huge favor if they just initiated a conversation with their volunteers each week.
  5. Expand Their Circle of Influence – People have a tendency to engage with the same people week after week. Christians are no different. We find a group of people we like, and we rarely have a conversation with someone outside of them. My leaders have to do better than that. They have to be intentional about meeting new people inside and outside of the church. For those outside, we want to invite them in.  For those inside, we want to invite them to get connected.

There are so many things I could probably add to this list. I want our leaders to pray more, read more, the list could go on and on. But, I’d love to know what’s on your list for this year. What are you asking your leaders to do more of? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

Five Reasons Why You Won’t Reach Your Goals This Year

It’s a brand new year, which means new goals and resolutions for most of us. We want to lose the weight we gained over the holidays, we want to spend more time with our family and less time in meetings, and if you’re a church leader, you want to see your church grow both spiritually and numerically this year. These are all great goals, and most of you are going to fail to achieve them.

I’m not trying to be the bearer of bad news, but someone needs to tell you the truth. More than likely, you’re going to give up on your resolutions way too early, and you’ll convince yourself your goals are a dream that will never come true. You’ll then resign yourself to thinking things will never change and you should just stop trying and save yourself the disappointment.

Sound familiar?

If it does, it’s because you have experienced this same cycle before. You get your hopes up, but it never seems to work out.

I want to help you change that. In order to do that, we have to avoid some common mistakes that keep us from reaching our goals.

  1. Not Writing Your Goals Down – Are goals really goals if you don’t write them down? They shouldn’t be. If you’re really serious about accomplishing something, take the time to write down exactly what your goal is. Then, put it in a place where you will see it often.
  2. Not Asking the Why – While you’re writing down your goals, take a few minutes and write down why you want to achieve them. You’re more likely to accomplish your goals if you have a reminder of why they are important to you. Simon Sinek wrote a great book on this concept called, Start with Why.
  3. Not Making the Necessary Changes – Goals don’t just magically get accomplished. If the church you serve had an attendance decline last year, it would be silly to think things are going to be different this year without making some changes. You don’t lose weight by eating the same things that made you gain it. What has to change?
  4. Not Staying Focused – Life is busy enough without the pressures of ministry. There are going to be all kinds of things that will knock you off track and make you want to give up. That’s why you have to review your goals, you have to review your why, and you have to stick to the changes you make.
  5. Not Asking for Help – If you’re a pastor trying to do ministry alone, you’re making a huge mistake. You need someone in ministry you can talk to, especially if you’re trying to initiate change in your church. One of the best decisions the church I serve ever made was bringing in an outside voice. They helped us identify issues we had missed and helped us create goals that would lead to growth.

What goals have you set for this year? What are you doing to make sure you accomplish them? If there’s any way I can help, please reach out to me by visiting my contact page and sending me a message. Let’s make this year a success.