Wisdom is seeing and living life from God’s perspective. Pastors need to live and lead wisely. How?
Today, I want to challenge you to take these four actions to lead wisely:
1. Live in the Word of God Personally
If you do not live in, read, and study the Bible personally, you cannot lead wisely. I am astounded at how many pastors do not have a consistent time with God, reading his Word. I am even more astounded how many have never read through the entire Bible.
When I am talking about living, reading, and studying the Bible personally, I am not referring to sermon preparation. This is secondary compared to your own personal pilgrimage in the Word of God.
One of the wisest decisions I ever made was reading through the entire Bible at least one time annually. I have done so since 1990.
A pastor cannot and will not lead wisely without living in the Word of God personally. Wisdom is seeing and living life from God’s perspective. You cannot lead people by something you do not do personally.
2. Develop Your Prayer Life Intentionally
Prayer should never be neglected in the life of a spiritual leader. Your prayer life needs to be intentional.
This demands the discipline to organize your personal life and your prayer life. If you do not plan to pray, you will not pray.
This means you must prioritize your daily schedule. Allocate the time. I do not see how one can do this without beginning their day with God. Ministry is too challenging not to.
Pastor, organize your prayer life. I organize my prayer life in the notes section of my iPad. This leads to easy change, depending on need.
A pastor who is crying out to God in prayer daily will be much more likely to lead his church or ministry wisely.
3. Know Your People Individually
The larger the church and ministry, the more this becomes an impossibility. I do not think this prohibits a pastor or his leadership, but he must counteract this challenge by making himself available to people.
How do you do this?
- Walk through the room slowly.
- Refuse to just appear to be friendly; be truly friendly.
- Smile while you walk.
- Pray for people right there when they share a need.
- Offer opportunities like receptions or other entrees for people to say hello to you personally.
Knowing all your people is challenging, but after years of pastoring along with other positions, it still comes down to one thing overall: relating to people effectively.
4. Build Leaders Intentionally
While tenure in ministry is no longer the friend it used to be, it is irreplaceable relating to building leaders. In my twenty-nine years of leading people in this church and building leaders, I have realized it takes intentionality.
One of the craziest things I ever did here was what we called midnight madness. When we were getting ready for the fall kick-off season, hundreds of our leaders came, had dinner, and sat with me for hours, letting me invest in them. As I poured into them the Word of God, prayer, vision, and actions to build the church, they responded. When midnight came and dismissal occurred, we celebrated.
This not only led to me doing this more than one year, but eventually into having a direct line to our leaders. We also established a quarterly time where I personally invested in our leaders on a Sunday afternoon for an hour.
Now with five campuses, multiple staff members, and thousands of people attending weekly, I do not do these kinds of things any longer. I help develop our staff and key leaders, and our staff leads and develops our people.
Regardless of the method you use, we need to build leaders intentionally.
A Closing Observation
Most pastors never lose their church or ministry due to bad theology, but over their leadership. So many times leadership is ineffective because it is not done wisely. Pastors, lead wisely.