We have some fantastic blogs for you to read this week. Enjoy and be blessed!
The pastor’s office is a time-honored tradition whose moment has come and gone for a lot of us.
Over the last 35-plus years of ministry, I have spent thousands of hours in my office. Joyful, frustrating, heartbreaking, boring, wonderful, life-changing hours. Hours spent studying, praying, counseling, crying, laughing, discipling, planning, organizing and so much more.
I wouldn’t give them up for anything.
But I have given up my church office. And I doubt I’ll ever go back to having one again.
Some of that is because I’m now the teaching pastor, not the lead pastor. But even if that change hadn’t been made recently, I would probably have given up my office anyway.
If you have a church office and it works for you and the church, by all means keep using it. This isn’t about convincing anyone to give it up. But if you don’t have one, or if you spend as little time in your office as I spent in mine in recent years, here are some reasons why you may not need one at all.
1. We’re More Mobile Now
Until very recently, whenever anyone started a business or planted a church, the first order of business was to buy or rent a building.
Even the local plumber, who spent all day driving from house to house, would rent an office, set up a phone line, hang a sign, and hire an employee to sit there. Why? Because someone had to answer the phone, bill clients, send receipts and so on.
Not any more. Most everything that plumber needs today, from answering calls to setting up appointments to running a credit card, and issuing a receipt can be done on a phone app from their truck.
Peter Drucker believed the five most important questions you will ever ask about your organization are:
- What is our Mission?
- Who is our Customer?
- What does the Customer Value?
- What are our Results?
- What is our Plan?
The most important thing about you:
The most important thing about you, after Drucker’s five questions, is the way you treat each other while you fulfill your mission.
Getting things done is an immediate concern that often obscures long-term issues like building an organization where people love coming to work.
The long-term concerns of servant leaders go beyond getting things done.
The trouble with long-term issues is neglecting them doesn’t hurt until tomorrow.
Urgency has the power to elevate the trivial to important.
You aspire to build engaged teams that distribute responsibilities and share ownership. But short-term urgencies give you permission to bark orders, ignore feedback, and threaten anyone who doesn’t “get on board.”
The tyranny of the urgent becomes an excuse to prioritize short-term results over long-term issues and enduring value.
The altar of short-term success is a tempting place to sacrifice values and character.
Every leader I know hopes their church or organization grows. The challenge is that few are prepared for what happens when it does.
As strange as it seems, most of us think growth will be easy—that when everything is up and to the right, all problems and stresses just go away.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Growth presents its own challenges – challenges that leaders don’t automatically overcome.
Growth challenges are one of the key reasons 85% of all churches that are reaching people and have a heart to reach their city never pass the 200 attendance barrier, and 98% never pass the 1,000 attendance mark. (If you’re interested, here are the top 8 reasons churches never pass the 200 attendance level.)
In the corporate world, it’s why most businesses remain small businesses despite the dreams of the founders.
So what surprises leaders about growth? Well, having led churches past the 200 and 1,000 attendance level and led through explosive growth in different ventures, here are five things I’ve felt again and again as things grow.
But as I always tell my team, Growth may present problems, but so do decline and stagnation. I’ll sign up for growth problems all day long.
So with that in mind, here are the challenges you’ll likely feel.
Discipleship is core to what we do as a church.
However, discipleship represents something much more than a program. Discipleship is something bigger than an institution that “organizes” a process for spiritual growth.
We are the church, and we are disciples!
That represents a significant challenge; how to organize something in the natural realm that inherently belongs in the supernatural realm.
This is a huge subject. And, I’d like to focus on a specific slice of the discipleship arena, centering on these three questions:
- How do you as the pastor live above the warning signs?
- How do you as the pastor personally fit into a process of discipleship?
- How do you as the pastor or church staff member, develop your spiritual vitality?
One “simple” answer is, “participate in a small group.” That’s good, and can work well, but it usually ends up with the pastor (or staff member) leading the group. So now the pastor is back to leading and organizing which can lessen the personal spiritual impact.
Another solution is, “get in an accountability group.” That’s good too, but most often those groups are not designed to make intentional forward and measured progress. They are more open than structured, and usually designed to keep a check on what is happening in the present.
This reality can leave the pastor and staff of the church without an intentional spiritual growth process.
Thank you to our sources for this week’s blog posts:
Christianity Today (Karl Vaters) – 6 Reasons Many Pastors Don’t Need An Office Any More
Leadership Freak (Dan Rockwell) – Beyond Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions
Carey Nieuwhof – 5 Truths About Growth And Scale That Frustrate Most Leaders
Dan Reiland – 3 Spiritual Vitality Warning Signs for Pastors