I get an amazing opportunity. I get to coach sharp, humble and growing pastors every week. They are processing new ideas and making sense of how to best lead their congregations and staff. Occasionally I step back and ask, “What good decisions are the wise pastors making?”
I’m hearing a few trends and helping them hone their leadership in these areas. The good news is that these aren’t just for big churches; every ministry leader can make these changes no matter the size of the church, the makeup of the team or the age of the leader.
Redesigning meetings. Wise leaders are realizing that people will no longer tolerate bad meetings. If it’s a waste of time people check out (especially over zoom). Wise leaders are reshaping meeting frequency, length and effectiveness. I encourage every team to create a format that works, and hit play every week or month. Aim for more quality, less quantity.
Reflecting personally and as a team. Due to cultural rush and perma-anxiety the act of pausing to reflect is becoming more powerful. I’ve watched the value of focused reflection spike in coaching sessions and group experiences we host. Utilize one powerful question paired with silence for best results. If we avoid reflection we will lead hurried and miss spiritual formation opportunities with our team.
Pruning the good. Most teams and churches are doing too many things. This results in scattered focus on sub-par results. Eliminating opportunities that are draining (or just good) will naturally create focus and channel resources toward the best opportunities. Once you’ve pruned there might be space for that thing you are burning to start.
Preparing ahead of time. Leading on the fly is not working very well. It leads to thin thinking, ineffective meetings, disengagement and eventually to burnout. Wise leaders are preparing for conversations and meetings and forcing their teams to do this by coming with developed thoughts. People want to be led and shepherded for grounded spiritual leaders.
Leading through questions. We’ve had a steady diet of information overwhelm and a lot of online shouting matches the last few years. This creates a massive opportunity for engaging questions where we actually listen. Questions have always been powerful, but they are a secret weapon right now.
Sharing context. The last three years have been a blur of constant change. We must slow down this year to acknowledge two things; where we’ve come from and where we are. We’ve come from change, confusion, fear and loss. That has led us to a unique cultural moment. Only after we recognize those two things can we assess where we are going. We must make sense of where we’ve come from and where we are before we can truly make progress.
Personalizing communication. In a mass-everything world personal touches are more powerful than ever. Handwritten notes and a quick call to check in are valuable. My favorite method is short, personal phone videos with the intent to thank and encourage.
Which of these is your GREATEST opportunity?
Director of Culture and Coaching
Alan is a mountain guide for the leadership journey. He loves outdoor adventures, but the greatest adventure of his being a father and husband. Alan is crazy about helping hungry leaders conquer overwhelm and navigate with courage. He serves leaders and organizations around the country through coaching, speaking, consulting, designing experiences, hosting mastermind groups, writing his own books and ghostwriting for others. He co-hosts Right Side up Leadership Podcast and regularly writes for Outreach and Field Notes .