IBM predicts knowledge will double every 12 hours by 2020. That is only 2 years away. The world is spinning (figuratively) so fast I wonder how long before it explodes.
What does this mean for the pastor who is struggling to just stay ahead of sermon prep and planning the next event? It means every pastor must be intentional when preparing for the future.
1. STAY HEATHY. The first and most important action is to maintain good health spiritually, emotionally and physically. The top 5 complaints of pastors are as follows:
- Not getting enough exercise
- Being overweight
- Feeling depressed or sad
- Feeling anxious or uptight
- Being tired and having no energy
In order to survive and finish strong, pastors must pay more attention to their physical health. It is time for pastors to lose the fat and gain the energy required to do the work of the ministry. This seems to be an afterthought which is killing us. I recommend every pastor read the book How Not To Die by Michael Greger.
2. KEEP THE SAW SHARP. Every leader must be a continual learner. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says this one habit is what makes all the others possible. “It’s preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you.” This action is not just about learning the latest sermon technique or administrative principle; it involves every area of life. Every pastor must be intentional and undeterred when it comes to keeping the saw sharp in these 5 areas:
Create a plan this month to intentionally improve in one of these areas before the end of the month. I will help the first 10 pastors who respond to the offer at the end of this post with this task.
3. LIMIT DISTRACTIONS. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, news sites, plus an endless list of sites can be a trap. I’ve talked to many pastors who confess spending too much time online. Psychology Today even has an assessment to determine if you are addicted to social media.
The internet is not the only distraction. All the offers that come in the mail or email which promise a better outreach program or discipleship program can keep you from doing what is right before you. I had an Administrative Assistant say to me, “Can’t we just do something long enough to see if it works?” Obviously I know how well distractions can sink the ship.
4. BE READY FOR MAJOR EVENTS. We live in a world of instant news and major catastrophic events. Your people will want to know what you think and how they should respond. A terrorist attack, a school shooting or natural disaster are just the beginning of what a pastor needs to be ready to address. The time to research and form a reasoned response is before it is needed.
To search the scriptures and develop a biblical response will serve you well. Even if the event is not on your list of prepared responses, you will be in a better place to quickly establish your thoughts.
Your community will want to know if they can turn to you in emergencies. We’ve see hurricanes, fires, chemical spills and other events that require evacuation centers. Will your church be able to help. The best help with be help that is thought through before the event.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR A $10 COACHING SESSION AROUND THIS BLOG.
I am offering a $10 coaching session ($200 value) to the first five pastors who respond concerning the challenges detailed in this blog. Pastor, if you found yourself wanting to move forward but not sure what to do, this offer is for you. You will leave the call with three things:
- A clear vision of what you want
- Your hidden challenges will be uncovered
- You will be renewed, re-energized and inspired