I get the ministry conference challenge… but what do I do on Monday morning?

I've known lots of people who are totally on board with the kind of challenges to rise up and do better and lead (by God's strength and for the glory of God in love for others). They hear these sessions and they get the theory.

But these people say "I don't get how to actually apply this week to week — what do I do differently on Monday morning?"

It's that challenge of implementation. How do I actually implement these things?

I get the theory that I should be spending more time on leaders and the lost. I get that I should work on the church not in the church. Or whatever. But how?

The kinds of things I might need to do more of

Although you need to actually figure out what will be the most effective and strategic thing in your particular context at any particular time... I think getting into the groove of doing these things more, and blocking out time for these things regularly will be of benefit even if they're not the precisely strategic things. Deliberate action is beneficial in and of itself, most of the time:

How could I start building into my week/month routine an hour or so for some of the following:

  • Getting feedback on and doing a second draft of the sermon to make it engaging, relevant, well applied and so on.
  • Looking at my strategic plans and commitments and making sure I am taking next steps for each. And if I'm not sure what the next steps are, think that through or get help.
  • Meeting with key leaders briefly, to build relationship, stay on the same page with vision, and get updates on how they are progressing.
  • Getting good and detailed reports on all areas of ministry. Figuring out what data you need and how to collect it. Chasing it up. Analysing it. Being familiar with every aspect of 
  • Planning and running meetings and events that train and support leaders and help recruit new leaders: semi-regularly gathering together, communicating with, training, envisioning and supporting your existing ministry leaders and team members.
  • Planning and running meetings and events for non-Christians and young Christians. Investing good consistent time in evangelistic courses and newcomers courses.
  • Writing up job descriptions, organisational charts, guidelines and other things that will make it easier to pass ministry on to others.
  • Planning and implementing communication to my staff, leaders, ministry team members, congregation and others.
  • Planning and seeking external funding and other support.
  • Getting 'professional development' in an area I know I'm weak, or in leveraging an area of strength — whether coaching, conferences, books or podcasts.

Some things I might need to do less of

What are the kinds of things that fill your ministry week that can mean we have no time or energy left to make changes in terms of ministry leadership?

The list is endless, really. But it's 

  • Doing the bits and pieces of ministry myself, because it's 'easier to do it myself': from weekly emails to stacking chairs, to opening up the building for those who want to rent the church hall.
  • Overly fussing about relatively unimportant details: fiddling with the details of a new app or something.
  • Academic pedantry: there's a point where extra burrowing into the exegesis or theology of my sermon will reap little benefit for the edification of the church
  • Paraministry activities: being consumed with committees, letters to the Editor/local member, Facebook debates, weddings, funerals.
  • Undisciplined meetings: meetings with late start times, no agenda, no end time.
  • Over-delivering in pastoral care and community life: my whole week can be spent in the more 'chaplaincy' and 'public figure' sides of ministry. 
  • Procrastinating and not working hard: getting the perfect crema on my coffee during my lunch break, watching YouTubes, chit chat, knocking off early, starting late.
  • Overworking and not resting well: it's hard to be creative and strategic if I'm in an overworked frenzy, working hard and dumb, rather than working smart.

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