Monday, April 7, 2008

Part 3 - Four Lessons I've Learned at the Ten-Year Mark

Lesson One - Posted March 27, 2008
Lesson Two - Posted April 1, 2008
LESSON THREE – I’m Having to Learn a New Set of Skills

At the ten-year mark it has become evident to me that I have to change. One of the most frustrating things of being a pastor of a growing church is that the last set of skills I had to learn to get us to where we are now will not take us where we still need to go. i.e., What I was doing at one level will not work at the next level. In fact, the very skills that I have relied upon up to this point will be the very thing that will hinder us from growing even more. Therefore, I have to grow.

As painful as it is for me, I realize now that I can no longer be connected to everyone. There are more people who attend PCC that I do NOT know by name than those I do know. This is very hard for me to cope with, given that I am a people-person and a gatherer. At this point it is important that our staff become responsible for personally knowing the people in their ministry area – in essence becoming their pastor.

I will have to establish more group relationships rather than individual relationships.

I will have to focus most of my time on our staff and our leaders of leaders.

I must think of the “big picture” at all times and work on results. I no longer have the luxury of being at every event or visiting everyone’s home. Now I have to remove myself from the micro issues of the church, leaving the details to others, and focusing on vision and direction.

I will “deal with the issues” in my sermons. For many people in our church, the sermon will be the only form of pastoral care they ever receive. Therefore, I will deal with the messy issues they face in my messages. There are simply too many people for me to personally counsel. Furthermore, God hasn’t called me to do so. So I need to pastor people from the pulpit. This will mean dealing with the messy issues right out in the open. Buckle your seat belt.

New systems must be put in place to close the back door and encourage bonding.

I will spend more time developing my prayer life. As our church continues to grow numerically & spiritually, I too must grow spiritually. I will not be able to give what I do not have.