One of the first things I do when I begin coaching a Senior Pastor is lead them through a process of redesigning how they schedule their week to ensure their highest ministry priorities get consistently accomplished.
It is the same process whether they serve churches of 50 to 5,000.
Here’s what that process looks like:
Draw A Weekly Calendar
The first thing I have Senior Pastors do is pull out a piece of paper and turn it to horizontal view.
Then I ask them to draw six horizontal lines, representing a typical weekly calendar, and placing the days of the week up at the top.
Mark X’s On Friday And Saturday Slots For Your Days Off
Your work week is now Sunday through Thursday. No more work on Fridays and Saturdays.
This immediately presents two problems for the typical Senior Pastor. First, they’re still doing their sermons on Friday and Saturday. Second, they take Monday off.
Both of these will change overnight if I have anything to do with it, and your family and church will thank me.
If you listen to me, you’ll never work on another sermon on Friday and Saturday again. In fact, you’re going to get your sermons done by the end of the day Monday (at the latest). More like noon every Monday.
And that Monday off thing? Yep, killing that too.
We have three kids, ages 7 to 16, and sometimes you would never know they are siblings based on their personalities and the way they respond in different situations. With one child all it takes is a stern look or word, while another child pretty much takes an old-school spanking. With one child there never seems to be silence while with another child you wonder if they’re still in the room.
I’ve learned over the years that a one size fits all parenting style is not the most effective. Based on their personalities, I’ve needed to find the parenting style that works best for each child. Here are four types of kids and the types of parenting that works best for them.
Your strong-willed child needs an authoritative approach
This is your child that may be adventurous, determined, and very outspoken. You can bet clashes will happen. A more authoritative approach will work better with this child. An authoritative approach means you are assertive, not intrusive or restrictive. You need to balance your demands and authority by being more responsive to their needs especially their need of self-expression.
Your imaginative child needs a patient and positive approach
This is your child who is playful, sociable, lively, and talkative. A permissive parenting style can lead to wanting to be his or her buddy, and permit them to live as freely as the child desires. An uninvolved parenting style can lead a parent to let this child do their own thing because they seem to be fine without them. As a parent of an imaginative child, we need to use a lot of patience, especially if you aren’t the most talkative and social one. Positive reinforcement with guidance is needed.
As leaders we can’t always anticipate what’s around the bend.
Sometimes life just happens – even in the church.
Quality leadership and the kindness of God will help you make it through anything that comes your way.
But in the same way a very difficult situation doesn’t “just happen” (there are reasons and causes), you can’t successfully lead your way through adversity without a clear strategy to follow.
Adversity can hit a church in a wide variety of ways. In just the last couple of weeks, a church let me know they let several staff go due to lack of income. Another church lost their pastor to a moral failure, and still another church is tangled up in a lawsuit regarding a building project.
In some ways a church is like a magnet for adversity because spiritual warfare is in play. I’m not suggesting that you adopt the disposition that there is a “demon behind every problem.” We are all capable of creating our own problems. We do know, however, that the enemy does not want your church or any church to prevail, and therefore champions anything that will short-circuit Kingdom progress.
I pray your church is not going through a tough time, but if it is, the following will be helpful to you.
Understanding your partner requires the capacity to listen. Really listen. Couples are advised to hear each other’s complaints without feeling attacked, and as great as this sounds, it’s often unrealistic.
When something you said (or didn’t say) hurts your partner’s feelings, there’s a strong impulse to interrupt with, “That wasn’t my intention. You’re misunderstanding me,” even before your partner is done talking.
Unfortunately, when the listener reacts to what the speaker is saying before the speaker gets the chance to fully explain themselves, both partners are left feeling misunderstood.
This is why the N in Dr. Gottman’s ATTUNE model stands for Non-defensive listening.
The defensive reaction
For most of us, listening without getting defensive is a hard skill to master. This is especially true when our partner is talking about a trigger of ours. A trigger is an issue that is sensitive to our heart—typically something from our childhood or a previous relationship.
While the phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” may have some truth, it doesn’t acknowledge the fact that trauma and regrettable incidents can leave us with scars.
This could be a result of a number of things. Maybe you’ve been repeatedly hurt or you experienced injustice in your relationships. These moments from our past can escalate interactions in the present.
Maybe you feel controlled like Braden does.