4 Questions for the New Pastor – Part 3

“What do I do?” Given the long list of expectations often placed on the office of pastor, one can find it difficult to know where exactly to jump in. Add the seven-day cycle of many pastoral responsibilities, and you’ll find it difficult to be intentional rather than reactionary to every day’s demands. Over the past

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4 Questions for the New Pastor – Part 2

“What do I do?” The question loads a pastor’s credit card with conference registrations and larger bookshelves as the man or woman of God seeks desperately for direction in this often awkward task of leading the Church. I call it awkward because it’s not really like any other leadership role in our culture–greatness equals servitude,

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4 Questions for the New Pastor – Part 1

While there are mountains of books and articles that discuss the various elements of church planting, health, development, leadership, revitalization, and any other category we’ve managed to envision, most pastors are just looking for a clear response to a single question–what should I do? Given that I’ve contributed to the aforementioned pile of of resources,

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Leading the Smaller Congregation – Part 12

We shouldn’t ever forget that the kingdom reward for the smaller church pastor isn’t less significant than for those who might lead hundreds or even thousands. Every smaller church pastor should remember the forgotten character in Matthew 25’s parable of the talents: We often focus on the failure of the third servant to use the

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Leading the Smaller Congregation – Part 11

Before we leave the subject of leading change, let’s talk for a bit about the pace of change. One mistake many pastors make is to misperceive those who resist change. Because the pastor feels passion for change and has worked through the necessity of pursuing a new direction, he can mislabel those who embrace change

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Leading the Smaller Congregation – Part 10

In the previous blog, we identified the type of team a smaller church pastor needs to build in order to lead change. Once the team is built, the final steps toward change are as follows: 1. Identify the vision Be able to articulate the goals of the change so the question of “why” can be

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Leading the Smaller Congregation – Part 9

While the pastor will continue to focus energy on the congregation’s urgency for change (through sermons, private conversations, and modeling of that urgency), he must also build a team to help guide the change process. A change team should be engaged for any significant change initiative. This helps the people take ownership of the new

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Leading the Smaller Congregation – Part 8

Because a high percentage of smaller churches have either plateaued or are in a period of decline, pastors in these settings must also understand the process of implementing change. Since there is not a steady flow of new people into the smaller church, careless or too aggressive forms of change can create leadership conflicts that

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Leading the Smaller Congregation – Part 7

In Part 6, we began discussing why a team approach is the best leadership strategy in the smaller church. We considered how the pastor is often one of the newest members of the team and will need the experience and historical understanding of those who sit around the table with him. At the same time,

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Leading the Smaller Congregation – Part 6

As we said in our last blog, team leadership is the best choice for the smaller congregation. Let’s rejoin those thoughts… Another reason team leadership works best in the smaller setting is that in most cases, the current pastor hasn’t been around for much of the church’s journey. In fact, there are times when the

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