Leading in the church requires a servant heart! It also requires action. I’m always amazed reading scripture how many times Jesus involves us in the miracles of kingdom work. Never be ashamed of taking action for God. Of course, there are times to listen, wait and sit still, but always be ready to work hard in ministry for the gospel. Here are five things for which leaders must strive.
Do Little Things Well
It’s possible to get so caught up that we forget the reason why we’re in ministry. We need to consistently do the basics well. Examples may include returning phone calls, taking care of details, following up on conversations. Don’t forget to take time for people. Make sure your calendar isn’t out of control – guard your time well. Keep the basic commitments in check: time for spiritual growth and renewal, time for home and family, time for teaching and preaching prep and time for vision and strategy. That one little thing, keeping your calendar organized, will yield big benefits. The basics are important. Here’s a little experiment you can try. Send a hand written note to thank someone for a particular ministry or thing they did for you this past week. I can almost guarantee they will make a comment about it next time you see them.
Focus on Your Priority
What is the thing on your list today that will bring about the most fruit? What is the thing that is the biggest difference maker in your ministry? These questions will help you determine your priority. It’s interesting to note that priority means one thing. The word “priorities” didn’t surface in our culture until just a few decades ago. The plural form automatically sets us up for competing items on our to do lists. I always love the quote: Anyone can do two things at once, what’s really impressive is to do one thing at once. Working with an uncluttered mind means focusing on the task at hand.
Run with Momentum
Momentum is different than breathless. Momentum is about knowing when to push, when to coast and when to ride the wave. Sometimes, just to create personal momentum during the day, I will write down something on my to-do list that I have already done, just to check it off. It’s a momentum builder. Here are some keys to running with momentum: Publicly celebrate accomplishments in your church and ministry, partner with people who can help make things happen with you, count on people to take on responsibility, work in the areas of your giftedness and calling as much as possible, and stay disciplined to keep your eye on the prize. Pray for momentum.
All leaders get discouraged, there’s no way around it. Here are some tips for overcoming discouragement. Personal time of devotion and conversation with Jesus each morning, plenty of sleep and balanced living, conversations with wiser leaders, trusted friends and colleagues, and an understanding that God is in control. Still, discouragement can hit us hard with one email or phone call. Here are a couple verses I love to read in those times.
Be Committed to Growth
Leaders need to be growing personally. What can you read today? What can you learn? How can you grow in your faith, in your leadership skills, in your delegation skills? Are you committed to growing your church or ministry? Of course there are multiple issues, things holding you back and other problems on the horizon, but those things can be dealt with. What I’m wondering is, are you deeply committed to growing your church and ministry?
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