As 2012 comes to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to share the biggest things I've learned this year. This is a question I was recently asked by a new friend, "What are the 3 biggest lessons you've learned in ministry this year?
Know Your Role
What is my role as pastor (of any ministry)? It became clear to me this year that my role is clearly spelled out in Ephesians 4:12 (ESV):
... to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.
In order for me to do this I had to stop doing somethings and start doing others. What I had to stop doing is trying to do "everything". This requires delegation and trust. The biggest thing I had to start doing is casting a compelling vision for the ministries I'm over. This required me asking all sorts of questions.
- How am I currently spending my time?
- What things should I not be doing?
- What are the things only I can do?
Answering these types of questions as well as others helped me focus on what I needed to be doing.
Listen to Your People
Just because you are the one "in charge" doesn't mean the people working with you don't have ideas. This became clear to me as I put into practice (for real ... not just half-heartedly) what one of my leaders has been suggesting for ... years. After working out the big kinks, the idea is working well and benefitting those we lead.
When I first came on staff (part time) over 2 years ago, I never turned down an opportunity to meet with people. Anyone who wanted to meet, I would make it work in my crazy schedule. There were several bad results.
- I didn't have control over my schedule, therefore I always felt like I was in "crunch time".
- I was sacrificing study time and got to a point where I was running on empty with nothing left to give.
- The cost got so high that family time and days off were sacrificed as well.
The lessons I needed to learn were; when to say, "No" and "I'm sorry I'm busy, can we work out another time?"
That's what God taught me this year. What has God taught you this year. Please share in the comment section so we can continue to learn from each other.