With the changes in our culture today, and more importantly, with the speed at which our culture is changing, the church is in dire need of leadership. This is especially the case for traditional and denominational local churches. There was a time, perhaps as recently as 15 years ago, when pastors could do just that: pastor. The role of pastor as “professional Christian” was one of responding to felt needs within the congregation over which he or she pastored. Someone’s sick…go visit. New baby…sprinkle ‘em. A young man and woman in the church fall in love…hitch ’em up! I may be exaggerating a bit, but this is still a pretty solid snapshot according to retired pastors with whom I have spoken.
The needs have changed.
The local church is currently more in need of leadership than pastoring. For too many reasons to name here, people are no longer committed to the local organized institution; which includes the local church. Ultimately, I believe this is a movement of God’s spirit and although many of us are having a hard time pivoting to respond to the movement, God is up to something. Whatever the future holds, the chasm between professional clergy and layperson (i.e. church volunteer) is shrinking rapidly. That’s a good thing!
Today, rather than be a shepherd who responds to the needs of his or her sheep, the pastor must be a proactive leader. The needs that have traditionally been met by a pastor must now be shared across the whole body in order for the church to be at her best. The local church thrives today when its people are passionate about caring for one another and passionate about reaching others with the saving message of Jesus. The role of the pastor, therefore, is one of envisioning environments, systems, and processes that will work to produce and facilitate these passions according to the leading of God’s spirit.
Now to the real reason for this post…
One of the biggest requirements for making this shift revolves around time management. I would guess that time management is one of your greatest struggles as well. Time is set and finite. You cannot make more of it. Time is also a great equalizer. We all have the exact same amount of time.
So how then can we be better stewards of our time in order to improve our productivity and even our overall health?
I have been moving more and more toward owning time before my time owns me. An author and leadership expert named Michael Hyatt has been a big influence on me in this area. I originally used his template to create my first ideal week a couple years ago. Another influence is Kevin Myers of 12Stone Church in Atlanta. I had the opportunity to sit with Kevin as part of a leadership cohort and he laid out how he is able to be most productive through stewarding his time well. The theme of time management continues to be a key focus for the highest capacity leaders I know.
I have put together my own process for stewarding the time God has given me and I’m excited to share it with you…
So glad to see you blogging again and sharing! Love seeing what God continues to do.
You da best. (blog comments PDA)
Good stuffStephen! The chasm shrinking is a good thing and we need to use our time differently.
Thanks, Brian! Looking forward to posting the second half next week. Hope it helps others to gain a clearer perspective.
Great points Stephen! I agree about the changing needs of the church and being faithful with time management.