Your job title or description isn’t ideal.
The vision you have for the community you lead has not yet been realized.
You aren’t where you want to be.
All those goals, aspirations and vision statements—throw them in the trash and focus on what’s right in front of you.
I don’t think Paul had a grand plan. He had communities he wanted to encourage with a visit and unreached cities to contact, but I don’t see a grand plan.
What I do see is an incredible focus on the short-term. When he arrived in a new city, he figured out how to reach people. If he was short on funds, he worked. Sentenced to house arrest, he wrote.
This is a bit simplistic, but Paul was so focused on the now that he didn’t have time to see past it. I’m afraid we are so focused on what’s next we don’t see what is right in front of us.
As a new parent I hear all the time how fast things will go, and to be honest, I’m getting kind of tired of it. I’ve also heard Lead Pastors light up when they talk about their time in ministry before they were the point leader. Worship sets and youth retreats and small groups sound like the time of their lives when they look back. Chances are, you’ll say the same thing.
Sure, you wish you had a better budget or more staff or whatever, but be present now. Stop looking at opportunities as another step towards something better. Don’t discount the size of your church. Quit rolling your eyes behind their back and making fun of the music.
Someday you’ll miss it.
You get to fail small. Think conflict is hard to manage with 10 people? Imagine navigating that with a 1000 people involved. Maybe it is a good thing your mom is the only reader of your blog and you don’t get asked to speak at conferences.
Rookie pastors fall into the trap of thinking they will never screw up. When they inevitably do this, arrogance makes it all that more intense. One of the best things that ever happened to me was that I stepped on a leadership landmine three months into my first paid ministry. I had staff, elders, leaders and students mad at me and I had to figure it out. It wasn’t pretty, but we found resolution and I don’t know how many times I reference back to that experience as I continue to lead.
Figure out how to fail now, while you have more margin for error.
If we had more leaders and pastors who waited on God’s timing, we would have fewer leaders and pastors who wash out. When we rush ahead we become exposed. I’m all for boldness, but not recklessness.
Think of the collateral damage caused by moral failings by pastors and leaders. Now think of all the lost potential of the burnt-out pastor who quits before they should. If we can’t be faithful leaders where we are, we can’t be faithful leaders anywhere else.
Ditch the goals for awhile, or at least stuff them in a drawer. Let’s focus on what is happening right now, right here.
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