(prin bunăvoința fratelui Nelu Brisc, păstor la Portland)
1. Stay spiritually healthy. Many pastors burn out because they get so busy doing ministry that they allow their spiritual lives to drift. The antidote to spiritual drift is to engage in God’s Word daily and seek God continually through prayer. If you need help making time with God a priority, block time off your calendar.
2. Please God, not man. People-pleasing pastors can fast become ineffective. The problem is you can never please all the members. If you are a church leader, you will have critics. They can be troubling and often demoralizing. But you can’t allow criticism to drive your actions. Instead, focus on the great things God is doing in your church. Follow His will for your church, not man’s.
3. Make family a priority. I’ve see too many pastors allow their families to become a afterthought. Many of their children grow up to resent the church. Their spouses feel as if they are no longer loved or desired. Some pastors have lost their families to divorce and estrangement. Pastors who neglect their families cannot lead their churches for the long-haul.
4. Focus on the things that really matter. Leaders can easily get caught up in the small details of day-to-day ministry. Consider delegating these small, yet meaningful tasks to church staff members or lay leaders. Not only does this help develop others for ministry, it allows you to strengthen your vision for one area of the church about which you are passionate. Look beyond the workday. Talk to local leaders about needs in your community. Your vision will expand when you see again the world outside your church.
5. Don’t lose your passion. Most of us agree the way to stay passionate about your calling is to stay consistent in spiritual disciplines. But a common thing that robs church leaders of ministry passion is spending too much time doing things that drain them. We often have to do things we don’t enjoy. But identify what aspects of ministry you are passionate about and spend more time on those. I enjoy planning and content creation. You might enjoy developing other leaders in your church. Or perhaps you like visiting with church members during the week. Spend time on the things that energize you. An energized leader is a passionate leader.
6. Continue to learn. There is evidence of a correlation between healthy churches and pastors who continue to develop as leaders. These churches are seeing the fruits of evangelism, greater assimilation and discipleship, and less conflict. Some leaders choose more formal education, but many are receiving coaching through continual learning programs like the ministry we developed at ChurchAnswers.com. Technology has opened the doors to all kinds of opportunities to learn.
7. Remember your call. You likely have a clear recollection of the time God called you to ministry and to the church where you are now serving. Remember that call. At times, it’s exactly what you need to hang in there.
Imagine what might take place if pastors consistently stayed at their churches for 10 or more years. I think we would see more communities transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that long tenures will result in healthier churches and advancement of the gospel.
THOM S. RAINER (@ThomRainer) is President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Read more at ThomRainer.com.
Source: Facts & Trends Fall 2018