Most senior pastors wear at least three hats.
First, you're a preacher. Every week, you deliver a sermon that helps people follow Jesus. You may never have enough time to work on your message, but you know it’s important.
Second, you're a pastor. If all you had to do was prepare a creative, Biblical and excellent message every week, you would succeed. But ministry is messy because it involves people. You’re not just their preacher, you’re their pastor.
Finally, you're a leader. When you look at healthy, growing churches, you’ll usually find a senior pastor who is a gifted leader. It's a different skill entirely than preaching or pastoring.
As your church's main leader, here are five things you can do to help your team function at a high level.
#1 – Clarify everyone's roles.
The senior leader is the chief clarity officer of the church. You’ve got to provide clarity around the mission, vision, and direction of the church.
You’ve got to help people know what really matters, and what things they do matter most. They can’t have three most important things – they have to know what is the MOST important.
They need you to say, “This is where you add the most value” and “Of all the things you do, this is the most important thing.”
#2 – Make sure everyone on your team that has goals that reflect the church's mission and vision.
When everyone on a church staff knows where they’re going, there’s clarity and alignment and often, success. “You won’t do ministry that really matters until you define what matters,” says Aubrey Malphurs of The Malphurs Group.
That's why everyone on your team needs 3-5 goals that are specific, measurable and important.
My friend Matt once told me that the best way he knows to lead and manage people in a growing church is to help them set goals, then work with them to create a plan to reach those goals, and holding people accountable to reach the goals they set. That's great leadership.
#3 – Make meetings meaningful.
Many church staff meetings aren’t effective because they don't focus on what's important. Your rarely have time to talk about the mission, vision, values and long-term strategy because you’re responding to what happened last week. You don’t spent much time talking about how to improve your ministry because you’re responding to last week’s crisis.
Here's a free PDF that talks about the three purposes of meetings (and why you shouldn't mix them) and lays out an annual meeting rhythm that can help your team stay focused on what truly matters.
#4 – Schedule intentional conversations.
If you are going to make a difference, it's going to involve conversations. You’re going have to push back from your desk, leave the confines of your keyboard, go out there and talk to people.
Great leaders don't lead from behind their desk, through social media, or by writing memos. There are absolutely no substitute for real conversations with the people on your team. Go out for coffee and ask two questions:
- Where do you need me more?
- Where do you need me less?
#5 – Learn together.
Leadership is like the tide. When it rises, everything else rises with it. If you become a better leader, it will improve every ministry, every program, and every relationship in your church. If everyone in your church learns how to lead better, the entire church will benefit.
Leadership development is one of those things that will get bumped from your calendar every time. The conference will never be convenient. The book sitting on your desk right now is going to get covered up with other things begging for your time. You won’t have time for any of this.
So What's Next?
You're supposed to lead your staff and develop leaders in your church, but where do you start?
To make it simple we created a FREE resourced called the Senior Pastor's Guide to Leading a Staff. This simple guide will help you with practical ideas and resources on leading a staff intentionally and consistently.
Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor's Guide to Leading a Staff today by entering your name and email below.