This month I will celebrate my fortieth year being ordained as a Baptist pastor. No one could have prepared me for the changes that were ahead in the church and ministerial landscape over this forty-year period.
When most of us think of ministry work, we think of shepherding people, leading souls to Jesus, and teaching and preaching God’s Word. Yet for these essential roles to be successfully fulfilled, there is an unglamorous, easily-neglected side of local church ministry—the administrative side of managing projects and processes. It’s the daily grind, and, frankly, it doesn’t come naturally for many ministry leaders. But local church ministry benefits from intentional strategies and processes.
We are tempted to think that the time in which we live is the worst time in the history of civilization. That’s nonsense. The Bible speaks of a time when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). What is new, however, is the way in which Christians have succumbed to social pressure during such a time. I believe some Christians’ lack of indignation at what we see in our world today is not a sign of their spirituality but of their indifference.
It has been said, “Leaders know the way, go the way, and show the way.”
While I agree with that statement, I have discovered that it only takes place if it happens intentionally. In other words, leaders don’t automatically know, go, and show the way—especially all at once and in a systematic way.
How then can leaders intentionally invest in their teams? Below are five ways, which I’m specifically applying to the ways a senior pastor can regularly develop his staff. But these could certainly be applied in a variety of settings.