Ekklesia 360

5 Leadership Tips Pastors Can Use To Grow Their Influence

Posted by Melissa Blakey



If you’re a pastor, you already know what a difficult job you have. I'll spare you the bleak statistics. But, if you had a job description, it might look something like this:

Pastor (Otherwise Known As):
  • Teacher

  • Bible Expert

  • Public Speaker

  • Marriage Therapist

  • Communications Specialist

  • Speech Writer

  • Grief Counselor

  • Spiritual Guide

  • Performer of Weddings

  • Mediator

  • Fundraiser

  • Head of HR Department

  • Prayer Warrior

  • Missionary

  • Church Planter

Must be excellent at:

  • Encouraging people when they’re down

  • Listening to complaints, all of the time

  • Financial Planning

  • Career Counseling

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Setting and keeping boundaries
Peter Drucker said that being a pastor is the 4th hardest job in the world behind CEO and President of the United States. From that list, it’s easy to see why.

Because pastors need more encouragement than ever, Point Loma Nazarene University started Pastors Day. Each year, pastors from Southern California and surrounding areas gather together to network and step outside of their own church to get perspective from an expert. This year’s speaker was David Kinnaman, President of The Barna Group, one of the foremost research organizations trying to understand how culture and faith overlap.

One of the most interesting parts of Kinnaman’s talk was when he discussed Barna’s findings from a study they completed on the state of the church in Scotland. Using examples from the study, he encouraged pastors and gave them insights on how to lead.YVQFJFXC38

5 Leadership Tips Pastors Can Use To Grow Their Influence

1.  Have Leadership Accountability
  • Do what you say you’re going to do - it sounds simple, but follow through is key to developing trust among your whole team and in your congregation
  • Realize that the more successful you become, the harder it is to be held accountable.

  • Have at least one good pastor friend who understands what it’s like to be in ministry. Ask this person to keep you accountable and vice versa.

2. Realize The Importance Of Team

  • Be intentional about cultivating young leaders around you. You were probably noticed as a leader before you became one. Make sure to call out leadership abilities you see in others, too, and challenge them the way mentors have challenged you in the past. That also means bringing people into the process of leading so that they can see what it is you do.

  • Realize you’re not an expert on everything. Trust the people you hire and let them do what they are good at. Don’t be afraid to give others a role of decision making in the church. For example, let Church Communicators have more autonomy in making decisions for the church regarding marketing.

3. Learn New Skills - especially related to digital tools.    

  • Always be building your skill set. If you’re going to stay fresh in ministry, you need to be working on this constantly. 
    Learn_new_skillsSet aside time in your calendar to learn Facebook or Twitter or another technology you’ve put on the back burner. You’re going to need some of these skills as a leader and to stay relevant to other people you’re building up.  (IE don’t resist technology, embrace it) Take the posture of a lifelong learner.

4. Be Accessible

  • Be intentional about limiting your accessibility. To prevent burnout and to ensure that you have a good balance in place, you don’t have to be accessible all of the time, but during the times when you are accessible - be fully present. Turn your phone off, focus on what’s in front of you so that you can be emotionally available to your present situation.
  • Make sure your heart is accessible. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “ I’m in charge, I have to have it all together.” Don’t lose touch with why you got into ministry and share what God is doing in your life with your congregation. For example,  if you’re passionate about church planting, it will rub off on your congregation if you talk about it and share your prayers and thoughts.

5. Commit Again To Prayer

  • Regularly schedule time to intercede for people in your city.

  • Be committed to pray in organized and also spontaneous ways more often.

  • Be more intentionally praying about the challenges of our post-Christian culture. It doesn’t have to be long to be effective.

So be encouraged and know that through prayer, educating yourself, growing leaders, staying accountable, and taking a hard look at your accessiblity, you have a lot of options for how to grow as a leader. There are lots of resources out there to help you, especially with the digital technology portion.

In a study by the Barna Group, 54% of pastors today agree that the Internet is a powerful tool for effective ministry. But don't think that you need to master it all on your own. Your staff is there to support you, especially if you aren't as comfortable with digital strategy as you'd like to be. We've  even created an eBook with pastors in mind to help you learn how to best serve your church using your website:  What All Pastors Need To Know About Building a Church Website.

Despite the mulitple hats you wear, one of them doesn't have to be digital strategist/webmaster. To help you, we've created another great resource for your whole team as you think about your website. Click below to download our free white paper.

Topics: Ministry Insight


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