If your church, through the vision God has given you to serve is beginning to effectively grow, you will inevitably be approached by leaders within your denomination or community to serve in some capacity.
Local civic organizations like Kiwanis, Lions Club or Rotary are good groups to help you connect with other community leaders. Being a member of your local Chamber of Commerce will introduce you to members of the business and professional community and will get you invites to social get togethers like monthly ‘Chamber Chats’ and occasional ribbon cutting events.
I encourage you to pick a couple of these groups to be a part of so that through those contacts you will be able to connect with people who will eventually visit and hopefully join your church.
My warning to you is that as you choose local service clubs to be mindful that they will want you to dedicate significant time and energy to accomplishing their vision within your community. Try to steer clear of responsibilities that will take you away from your main purpose, to go make disciples.
You may feel honored to be asked to be on so and so’s committee but ask yourself this question. Will the time spent discussing their agenda be fruitful in fulfilling the agenda God has placed before you?
I know of many pastors who have spent precious time and resources working on outcomes that are good for the community but not great for the Kingdom or their church. I won’t argue that most all of these local service clubs are in the good-doing business, but in doing the good are you missing out on doing something great for God?
Picking up litter along the highway, gathering used eyeglasses to be sent to impoverished nations, or collecting donations for local youth scholarships are all good endeavors (all of which I have done as a member of local service clubs) but none of which can ever be done in the name of Jesus. As an effective church pastor, whatever it is you do, do it in the name of Jesus’ great commandment and great commission.
The same can be said for accepting responsibilities within your denomination. If you are being noticed by your regional denominational leadership, know that you will soon be asked to serve on some committee.
When the churches I pastored got the attention of the denominational administrators, I was asked to serve on any number of boards. At first, I was flattered that my denomination would think enough of me to recruit me participate in regional business, but after spending much time in meetings talking about the ministry, I felt my time was much better spent doing ministry.
Commissions on the order of ministry, task forces for the promotion of social justice and committees for the planning of the next regional assembly are all viable ministries and like camps and conferences, some ministries are better served when working with others. I often would say we are better together than we are apart.
Again, let me say that all ministry is important, but I believe that there is nothing more important than accepting and committing to the call to pastor a local congregation, and to spend the greatest amount of time we have available growing that body of believers.
In the book of Nehemiah, which I think is the greatest leadership book in the Bible, we learn about the challenges Nehemiah faced in accomplishing his vision of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s response to those who were trying to keep him from his appointed task was to say, “Look, I cannot come down from the wall because I am too busy.
As was the case with Nehemiah, ignore the naysayers and those who may be jealous of your church’s success. Choose wisely when getting involved in good, need meeting ministries and social service projects of the well-intentioned community leaders and denominational managers. Be prudent of the good you say yes to, and learn to say no to the things that will not help you grow a great church.
There’s more NO’s to growing your church than there are YES’s. We’ve developed a couple of important resources that will help you say NO to what keeps you from growing your church and give you the time and energy to say YES to those important processes that WILL grow your church.
First, grab the Pastor’s Get More Time Planner. The Planner is a micro-book that will walk you through the steps to get free from the tyranny of managing your church and managing your members. In 30 days or less, you’ll be saving 10 hours a week or more – time you can use to move your church from stuck to moving, from stop to grow.
Second, IF you already know you need more help than a workbook, even if it is a GREAT workbook, and IF you’re ready to pursue your ministry with abandon, then join me and a select few for the Next Level Coaching Network. Get free from the tyranny of Pastor Fetch and get the training, support, and accountability you need to lead your congregation from stuck, status quo to sustainable growth.
Only a few pastors are selected into this program each year and if you’re interested, you can apply here and schedule a one-on-one strategic planning conversation. During that conversation we’ll help you identify your top priority for the next twelve months – and take a peek under the hood to figure out what’s keeping you from getting there. After that, if that’s been helpful, we’ll talk about a plan for reaching that goal.
To get started, click the button below and fill out the brief – but important – application form. Then let’s talk!