Many pastoral leaders are overwhelmed by operational leadership challenges – day to day activities to keep the “ship afloat.” Submitting to the tyranny of the urgent is a common malady. As a colleague/coach/consultant of pastors, I hear this complaint more often than any other. Therefore, when I suggest that at least twenty percent of the pastoral leader’s time should be devoted to adaptive leadership, many pastors think that I have lost my grasp of reality. By “adaptive leadership,” I mean thinking about the “big picture,” establishing clear mission/vision/values for the congregation, facing the facts of what is not working, creating a cohesive leadership team, taking risks and the like.
Since I believe that all congregations have only two options – slow death or deep change – all congregational leaders will need to lead change in the life of the Body. This requires attention to adaptive leadership. I believe the health and vitality of the congregation depends on the willingness of the leaders to devote at least twenty percent of their time to adaptive challenges.
Recently, a pastor whom I coach, and who has struggled with operational overload for many years, said to me, “Beyond acute pastoral care, I now spend nearly all of my time on preaching (including preparation) and investing in leaders.” May his tribe increase! What a monumental shift he has made over several years and is a more effective leader as a result.
Are you willing to accept the adaptive leadership challenge? If so, what is an action step that would help you move in that direction?
I am certain that you will need to create a “stop doing” list and then take some action with regard to it. I am also certain that you will trust God more, as you take these risks for the sake of more fruitful ministry in the name of Jesus Christ.
Breaking Church Addictions
Believe it or not, church addictions are fairly common. They are probably more common than we would like to admit. GO HERE.
Burnout or Breakout
How can church leaders be effective without sacrificing their marriage, their family, or their health in the process? How can good leaders get stuck churches unstuck without becoming another casualty? GO HERE.
A Biblical, Practical Guide to Strategic Planning in the Church . GO HERE.